Ministry health

Ministry of Health calls for covid19 injections for young children

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The rollout of covid19 vaccines for children aged five to 11 began on Wednesday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said.

Speaking at the Department of Health’s virtual press conference, he said while the expiry date listed was April 2022, the date has been extended to October 2022 by the manufacturer, Pfizer.

He said the same action was taken with the adult Pfizer shipment received last year.

On Monday, TT received a shipment of 43,200 covid19 pediatric vaccines donated by the Kingdom of Spain.

“We are going to vaccinate these children in more than 30 sites starting today and we will continue. The locations are a combination of vaxx mass sites and health centers. We have plenty of time to give you your first shot, and your second is due four to eight weeks later.

“We are one of the first, if not the first country in this region, to receive this. Other countries will receive, and we really thank the Spanish people.

Deyalsingh said current vaccines can immunize around 20,000 children, but it was too early to determine if and how many additional vaccines would be needed for this age group.

Vaccines are available at mass vaccination sites and health centers and parents or guardians must have with them a valid ID, the child’s birth certificate and proof of relationship to the child.

Deyalsingh said there had been a decrease in the number of covid19 cases in schools and the number of schools requiring testing.

“For the period May 16-22, there are 233 cases, so there has been a drop and the number of schools testing positive cases is 104, so there has been a drop as well, and the number of ‘testing schools is 116.’

Deyalsingh said covid19 booster doses were only intended for certain categories of people, until the World Health Organization (WHO) advised more.

He said the categories remained people over 60, regardless of health status; healthcare workers, regardless of their age and state of health; and immunocompromised people, regardless of age and state of health.

“The decision to administer the second booster to these groups is based on WHO recommendations, which we are sticking to and as I have indicated, to do otherwise would not be scientific.”

He stressed: “We are not going to administer vaccines because they will expire. So what happens in the event of a lawsuit? So we have always been guided by science, and we continue to be guided by science and the WHO. this time, until the advice of the WHO changes, we will not vaccinate anyone because we have a surplus of vaccines. Doing this may not be wise, it may be reckless and could lead to all sorts of legal issues for TT taxpayers. »

Administration of the second Pfizer covid19 booster doses began on Friday, and so far it said 1,967 people have been vaccinated.