Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony says that doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Guyana in time for students to return to school for the new academic year next month.

The Health Ministry is, in the meantime, working along with the Education Ministry to prepare the rollout of the jabs for children between the ages of 12 and 17. Education Minister, Priya Manickchand has already met with the Parent/Teachers Associations, principals of schools and other stakeholders to discuss matters relating to vaccination. Consent forms are currently being distributed to parents and guardians.

Minister Anthony said that his ministry will respect the choices made by parents.

“If they agree then they really don’t have to do anything but if they disagree, then they would fill the form and send it back to the school so that they don’t want their child, getting the vaccine. Then, the ministry will have to respect those wishes.”

The Minister said when the consent forms return, it will allow the ministry’s health team to ensure that they have enough vaccines to accommodate the children at the various locations.

“So, what we are now trying to do is to see which school, how many children would be at that school to get the vaccine. So, we are working out these things in advance to make sure that when we send the health team to that school, they would have enough vaccines for the children.”

For parents, who do not wish to have their children vaccinated, Minister Anthony said the Ministry of Education will have to explore alternatives, so that those children can continue learning.

“So, we’ll see what happens, but so far from my discussions with Minister Manickchand, I understand that a lot of schools have sent out these letters. They are coming in back and most of the parents have agreed.”

Dr. Anthony had noted earlier that these vaccines are safe for the children to take as the relevant clinical trials have been conducted.

Making reference to the United States, Dr. Anthony said a large number of children have been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. He noted that there have not been reports of significant issues.

The Minister is cautioning parents that once the vaccine is administered, children may experience some side effects like fever and some aches.

Minister Anthony explained that these side effects are common after taking any vaccine.

Guyana is expected to receive 100,000 doses of the US-made Pfizer vaccine.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here