Guyana Considering COVID-19 Booster Shots for Those 12 to 17 Years Old

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony Thursday said the government is considering the recommendation by the US-based Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to offer coronavirus booster doses to persons 12 years and older.

BOOTshoThe CDC has said that adolescents, who are age 12 to 17 years old, should receive a booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

“That’s something we will also be looking at because our population between 12 to 17, we’ve only been giving them the primary dose, that’s the first and second dose, and now we’ll probably have to consider whether we should administer the booster dose,” Dr. Anthony told the daily COVID Update briefing.

The FDA announced earlier this week that countries can now administer a fourth COVID-19 booster dose to their population.

“The recommendation is that the fourth dose should be administered to people who have underlying conditions that result in immunocompromise… The second condition is that they have generally recommended it for anybody 50 years and older,” Dr. Anthony said.

He said scientific data has shown that a fourth dose vaccine is ‘very protective’ and as such the ministry will be considering the administration of a fourth dose for persons 50 years and older.

The Health Minister repeated the importance of getting vaccinated against the disease.

“When you get vaccinated, you’re giving your body a chance to quickly react when it comes in contact with the virus. If not [vaccinated], it would take a long time, and during that period you can develop other complications so it is important to get vaccinated.” Dr. Anthony said.

He reminded the population that immunity drops approximately six months after taking the second dose of a primary vaccine and therefore it is important that persons be boosted against the disease.

Guyana has recorded 1, 226 deaths and 63, 246 infections linked to the virus since the first case was detected in March 2020.