Children 12-15 in Cayman to get the COVID vaccine
Children in Cayman between 12 and 15 years old can now get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
This was confirmed on Friday by Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee.
The approval came on the same day that the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) gave the green light for the drug to be given to children over 12 years old saying the benefits outweigh the risks.
The MHRA said it had carried out a "rigorous review" of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for children in that age group.
The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will now advise the government whether routine vaccination should be offered to those aged 12 to 17.
Cayman’s CMO Dr Lee said, “I am very happy the Cayman Islands’ vaccination programme can now be extended to this age group. Today’s announcement provides a milestone in how far we have come in our aim to vaccinate the Cayman population in order to safely re-open the islands."
Hon. Min for Health and Wellness, Sabrina Turner, said: “We consider this news a welcome indication that life may soon start to have some more normalcy for this highly mobile, purpose-driven age group.”
“As a parent, I can understand that parents may still have some questions. I encourage you to speak with your children, and if appropriate their General Practitioners and Paediatricians. The scientific data is reassuring and that has made this such wonderful news to deliver today,” she added.
There are approximately 3,000 children between 12 and 15 who are now eligible for vaccination although there are only limited supplies of vaccines available on-island at this time, according to a government statement.
CMO Dr Lee has also reminded that local supplies are currently very limited and will soon be exhausted. But he said this is an indication of the success of the vaccine campaign in Cayman.
The Health Services Authority(HSA) will announce the schedule for this age group in the coming days.
Early last month the United States regulator, the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) approved administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents 12 to 15 years of age.
The vaccine is also being given to children over 12 years old in Canada.