The government is seeking to secure pediatric doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through an agreement with the Caribbean Public Health Agency, Minister of Health Dr. Michael Darville said yesterday.
He said the doses, if secured, would be a part of a tranche of vaccines donated by the United States (US).
“For the pediatric doses of the vaccine, there are negotiations going on through the Caribbean agencies that are in direct communication with the United States government that are trying to get the pediatric doses in this country and some of the other Caribbean countries,” Darville told The Nassau Guardian.
Darville said the negotiations have been ongoing for months.
“While we’re doing that, we’re looking elsewhere as well,” Darville said.
“That is a major negotiation effort and they’re leading the charge and we are hopeful.”
Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said on Monday, that the government hopes to have vaccines for children in-country “very soon”.
He was unable to give a timeline.
The Bahamas is struggling with its fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 3,800 cases have already been confirmed so far this month.
However, despite this uptick, Darville said The Bahamas has not experienced any significant number of cases among children between the ages of 11 and 15.
While the government wants to vaccinate children amid the surge, he said it does not believe it is mandatory for the reopening of schools, which have been primarily operating virtually since March 2020.
“The Bahamas has had no challenges with outbreaks or clusters that arose in school settings, especially among this age group,” Darville said.
In October, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of five and 11.
The authorization came after its safety was studied in roughly 3,100 children – ages five through 11.
According to the FDA, the children who received the vaccine had “no serious” side effects that were detected in the study.
As it stands, individuals over the age of 12 are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in The Bahamas.
A total of 156,777 people are fully vaccinated against the virus in The Bahamas as of January 8.