Guam prepares to expand vaccines to children ages 5 to 11
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Health officials are expecting new shipments of Covid-19 vaccines to arrive on Guam next week as the Department of Public Health and Social Services prepares to expand the inoculation program to children 5 to 11 years old, who are emerging as high-risk group.
The department's Guam Immunization Program ordered 7,500 pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine early last month.
The vaccine expansion to the school-age group was officially recommended Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The expansion is based on a CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children in this age group be vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine.
According to the CDC, Covid-19 infections in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), and long-term complications, such as “long Covid,” in which symptoms can linger for months.
Meetings and discussions are underway with key stakeholders, including the Guam Department of Education , Catholic schools, private and Charter schools to plan for school-based immunization of the pediatric Covid-19 vaccine. DPHSS has been in communications with enrolled providers to plan for expansion of vaccinations to pediatric populations.