GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyana's government, brushing aside the “a myth, that children don’t get COVID” says it will begin vaccinating on June 11th, children between the ages five to 11 years for the pandemic that has so far killed 1, 238 and infected 65, 294 others since March 2020.
“There is a myth, that children don’t get COVID, but when you look at our statistics, the 60 something thousand persons that would have been infected over this period about one third of them would have been children,” said Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, as he urged parents to ensure their children are vaccinated.
“We are starting on Saturday and then we will collaborate more closely with the Ministry of Education to roll this out in different schools but we are really dependent on parents to make sure they give us permission so that we can do this vaccination,” he said reminding the public that the vaccines prevents severe illness and long COVID.
On Monday, Guyana received a shipment of 52,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccines for children ages five to eleven years old, preparing the country for the first-time administration of the vaccine to that age group.
The vaccines were donated by the government of Spain and will be administered to 26,400 children in a two-dose schedule. T
Spain’s Ambassador to Guyana, Fernando Nogales Alvarez, said that the donation is part of a worldwide effort by Spain with unanimous support from Parliament and society.
“The first phase of the pandemic was truly hard for Spain and out of that feeling of despair of not knowing what was happening there emerged the very intense desire, that whenever a solution could be ready that we have to share it with those who needed it most,” the Ambassador said.
Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, who was also present to receive the donation, said the vaccines are a ‘valuable gift.’
“Vaccines will remain voluntary, so to all the parents listening to us, vaccines will continue to be voluntary, and we are not insisting that anyone takes the vaccine but we are encouraging you strongly to pay attention to the data.
“Most of us want better for our children that we want for ourselves and I urge you to consider strongly getting your children vaccinated with this vaccine, there are limited doses and they will finish and so an early decision will be required,” she added.
The Health Minister said that the vaccines will be administered on a ‘first come first served’ basis.