Several pediatric clinics on Guam have already been identified to possibly administer COVID-19 vaccines to children should they become available.
In this week’s virtual hearing with Public Health, officials provided an overview of the interim vaccination plan for Guam.
Annette Aguon, Bureau of Communicable Disease Control Administrator, mentioned that the agency is working with several pediatric clinics for the COVID-19 vaccination of children when their time comes.
According to Aguon, they are on standby to vaccinate as soon as CDC lowers its age threshold to include children.
“This list of providers are ready but they have not yet ordered the vaccine. Seven of these providers are listed as pediatric providers and they have to wait until US recommendations drop the age limits to below 16 years of age,” Aguon said.
In a January VAPCC meeting, Dr. Felix Cabrera, DPHSS Chief Medical Officer, says that there is a missing component before we can reach full herd immunity on Guam.
Right now, Cabrera said we can’t fully achieve this without vaccinating children as well. He says children make up around 30 to 40 thousand of Guam’s population
He says the rate-limiting step here is the vaccination of children.
“Right now, the Pfizer vaccine is only approved for 16 and above. Moderna is for 18 and above. We don’t know if 16 and below are going to be vaccinated. Right now, we know that there are trial tests that are looking at 16-year-olds and once they feel confident in that, they are going to go down another age group, probably 9 to 12. They will keep going down and it’ll take time for that to happen,” Cabrera said.
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly and requires different strategies to maintain clinical preventive services, including immunization, according to CDC, and currently, children are not included in the vaccine Emergency Authorization Use list for both Pfizer and Moderna.