The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved to be administered to 12-15 year olds in Cayman.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee, in a Ministry of Health press release issued Friday afternoon, confirmed the green light had been given for the vaccinations. Earlier today, the UK health regulator announced that the vaccine could now be administered to that age group in the United Kingdom.
“The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom have assessed data provided on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and agreed that it has now demonstrated high efficacy and safety for this age group,” Cayman’s health ministry said in today’s statement.
“This follows clinical trials which have shown that the jab is 100% effective and well tolerated among children aged 12 to 15,” the ministry added.
There are approximately 3,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15 who are now eligible for vaccination, the statement said, but cautioned that “there are only limited supplies of vaccines available on island at this time”.
The Public Health Department, in a statement issued Thursday, said that the current supply of vaccines will be entirely used up within the coming days, and that the next batch of vaccines is expected to arrive on 16 June.
Premier Wayne Panton told the Compass that, based on comments from parents on island, he believed there was a demand for the vaccine for the younger age group.
“A lot of people want to have their kids vaccinated so they can travel safely and go to school safely,” he said.
In today’s press release from the health ministry, 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. However, please remember that such is the success of our programme, our supplies are currently very limited and will soon be exhausted.”
Minister of Health Sabrina Turner said in the release that the news was “a welcome indication that life may soon start to have some more normalcy for this highly mobile, purpose-driven age group”.
She added that as a parent herself she understood other parents might have questions about the vaccine. “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,” Turner said.
The Health Services Authority will be announcing a vaccination schedule for the 12-15 year olds. More details on vaccination clinics can be found on the HSA website.