Statement on COVID-19 vaccine in children

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The Min. of Health wishes to address an article stating “Govt Discussing Mandatory COVID Vaccine for Students” which emanated from an impromptu press briefing by the Minister of Health, Tuesday, January 5, 2021. The Ministry wishes to clarify that no one under the age of 18 years of age, including children in The Bahamas, will be administered the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the Government of The Bahamas has been proactive in securing mechanisms that will give the Bahamian people access to this much-needed vaccine, the Ministry of Health underscores that administration of the COVID-19 vaccine is entirely voluntary. In other
words, only those who wish to receive the vaccine can avail themselves of it.

The Ministry further states that it will continue to comport with best practice and international standards on medical and public health matters. This extends to the age recommendations for the COVID-19 vaccine administration. From current knowledge, the
approved age range for the
• Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is 16 years and older; and
• Moderna is 18 years and older

The Ministry notes the global scientific clinical trials currently underway to determine/study the safety and efficacy of this vaccine in persons 12 to 17 years of age. We assure the Bahamian people that COVID-19 vaccination among children will not be offered within this sub-population until evidence suggests it is safe to do so, and with the consent of parents and guardians.

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