2021News

Public Health Minister is in favor of vaccinating children 5 to 11 years; Dr. Jorge Marte recommends the vaccinating

Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera has said that to start vaccinating small children, the ministry is only awaiting a final report from the Sinovac pharmaceutical company. The government would authorize innoculating small children with the Chinese Coronavac vaccine. Dr. Rivera said children 5 to 11 years will receive the same Sinovac vaccine that has been used for adults. The country has more than enough inventory of Sinovac vaccines to vaccinate all the school children nationwide.

The Ministry of Public Health had already authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 17 years. Adults in the Dominican Republic can choose from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines for the first two doses. The Ministry of Public Health also recommends a Pfizer booster shot for those who received the Sinovac. Upwards of 70% of the population has received two doses of Sinovac.

Dr. Rivera says that the Ministry is awaiting a report from Pfizer on the vaccine for small children, but that this would not be available until January or February 2022. The Pfizer vaccination for small children would have a different dose than that used for those 12 years and older. Dr. Rivera said that the Dominican Society of Pediatricians is in favor of using the specialized Pfizer vaccine for small children.

This is why the vaccination of small children in the country would begin with the Sinovac vaccine. The medical authorities in Chile authorized the use of the vaccine for school children in Chile in late September. The vaccine was also authorized for use in China.

The Center for Diagnostic Advanced Medicine and Telemedicine (Cedimat) director, Dr. Jorge Marte Baez, attributed the recent increase in Covid-19 cases to the return to in-person learning. He favors that children 5 to 11 years get vaccinated now.

The doctor said the health authorities are analyzing whether children are becoming vectors transmitting the disease since they have evidence of people who have been infected by their children or grandchildren after the return to school. Dr. Marte made the remarks when interviewed for Hoy Mismo on TV.

Regarding the meeting between the Ministry of Public Health and the medical societies on Monday, 4 October 2021, Dr. Marte Baez said that although the Dominican Society of Pediatrics is opposed to applying vaccines to children, independent and reputable pediatricians have endorsed the decision to start the vaccination scheme in minors as soon as possible.

He said that although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency have not issued statements on the vaccinating of minors, neither did they approve the booster vaccine. The Dominican Republic went ahead and became a pioneer in applying the booster shot.

Dr. Jorge Marte was a strong advocate of the booster shot and strongly recommended its application. At the time, he argued that physicians at Cedimat were seeing too many cases of people with the two Sinovac vaccines becoming very ill and even dying.

In the Dominican Republic an estimated 59% of the adult population has received two doses. Almost one million persons have received the booster shot.

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7 October 2021