(CMR) The Public Health Department said it would start vaccination of vulnerable children in the 5 to 11 age group in the Cayman Islands. The vaccine will also be available to children in this age group who live with the vulnerable and immunocompromised.
Vaccination for children will take place at dedicated clinic times.
“These vaccines need to be administered by Public Health nurses who specialize in children, as the dosage and inoculation for children differ than that of adults,” said Dr . Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, Medical Officer of Health.
A physician letter in support of their patient receiving the vaccine will be required for any administration to this age group. Vulnerable or high-risk children aged 5 – 11 and those in the same age group living with vulnerable or immunocompromised individuals will qualify. This includes children 5-11 years old who have:
-Chronic respiratory disease
-Chronic heart conditions
-Chronic conditions of the kidney, liver, or digestive system
-Chronic neurological disease (i.e., Down’s syndrome)
-Immunosuppression (i.e., those undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, solid organ transplant recipients, bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients)
-Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
-Serious genetic abnormalities that affect several systems
The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the vaccine for this age group last month after finding that it is safe and effective.
Dr. June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive, said:
“Parents and carers can be reassured that no new vaccine for children would have been approved unless the expected standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness have been met.
“We have concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for 5 to 11-year olds, with no new safety concerns identified. We have carefully considered all the available data and reached the decision that there is robust evidence to support a positive benefit-risk for children in this age group.
“Our detailed review of all side-effect reports to date has found that the overwhelming majority relate to mild symptoms, such as a sore arm or a flu-like illness. We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved COVID-19 vaccines, and this includes children aged 5 to 11 years old.”
Public Health will be organizing specific childhood immunization clinics over the coming weeks, as they will not be administered at the COVID vaccination clinic. The public will be advised once the clinic dates and location are confirmed.