PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Ministry of Health says that it will consult with the relevant stakeholders before rolling out Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for 5 to 11-year-olds.
Speaking at the Ministry of Health’s virtual media briefing on Saturday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh welcomed the latest development and provided details on the Ministry’s rollout plan.On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended extending the use of a reduced dosage of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11.
“I just want to explain to the national community what process we are going to follow to roll it out. The Chief Medical Officer will convene his Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Monday to dissect and digest the updated Interim Guidelines which WHO put out yesterday. We will also be conferring with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to look at their technical guidelines and technical details.”
“So far, this morning and last night when this Interim Guidelines came out, I personally have been in contact at a national level with Dr Faith B Yisrael (THA Health Secretary) to coordinate not only a national rollout but a national training and sensitization program for those who have to administer the vaccine. I have also alerted Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Education, because this directly affects school children between the ages of 5 and 11.”
The health minister said all of these bodies will be invited to examine the Interim Guidelines and determine the way forward with recommendations for a national rollout.
He added: “Once we have a position, we will come to the national population to discuss the national rollout. That is where we are. It is some good news, but we do have some Is to dot and some Ts to cross before we go full speed ahead to vaccinate this cohort.”
To date, eleven children have died from COVID-19 in the twin island republic.