Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP, says even as discussions are ongoing with Education officials on the reopening of schools, the Government plans to utilise an existing immunisation law to inoculate children against COVID-19.
Dr. Anthony made this disclosure during Wednesday’s COVID-19 update.
The Minister said a joint committee, which comprises representatives from both Ministries, have been examining how to keep children safe in school.
“We have been in discussions with the Ministry of Education and its top leadership and one of the things that was discussed at the last meeting, pertaining to when we get vaccines, how we are going to roll that out within the school system, so those discussions are still ongoing.”
Dr. Anthony noted that there is currently an existing law which applies to the vaccination of children.
This is the Public Health (School Children) Immunisation Act 1974, which provides for the immunisation of persons seeking entry into schools and day care centres against certain communicable diseases.
“We will be giving those vaccines in accordance with that particular law,” Dr. Anthony said.
Globally, two vaccines have been approved for children between the ages of 12 and 18, which the Government of Guyana is pursuing.
“The Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine and so far, they are being used for persons between 12 to 18 and we are actively trying to get those vaccines into Guyana so we can administer it to our children.”
Minister Anthony said recently there have been reports of some countries using Sinopharm to vaccinate their younger population. However, the Guyana Government is awaiting more data on this.
The Government is hoping to reopen schools for face-to-face learning in September. Teachers are being encouraged to lead by example and take their vaccines to protect themselves and their students.