Now that those over 12 years of age can be vaccinated against covid-19, the government’s expectation is that these adolescents will update the rest of the vaccines that correspond to them.
Although the vaccination registry is not yet updated, the director of the Vaccination Program of the Department of Health, Iris Cardona, assured that there are other ways to know what vaccines these minors are missing. He stated that both pediatricians and schools are supposed to keep immunization records for every patient or student.
According to Cardona, the Advisory Committee on Vaccination Practices – which makes recommendations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, in English) – recommended taking advantage of the coronavirus vaccination to update the rest of the vaccines that they are supposed to be administered to minors.
“There are specific recommendations because with the vaccination of adolescents, secondary to the situation of the pandemic, it left them a drop in vaccination coverage and vaccine orders. The CDC is telling us that this new recommendation to vaccinate adolescents is an opportunity for each vaccine provider to take advantage of to encourage parents to get their children up-to-date on the other vaccines. That they take the opportunity to evaluate and administer the vaccines they lack, ”Cardona said.
They will campaign in Health
Cardona clarified that minors can receive the covid-19 vaccine at any of the vaccination centers as long as they are accompanied by a person of legal age. Even so, he pointed out, the Health Department’s campaign is aimed at bringing all vaccines up to date.
“They are reaching the vaccination centers and they are calling. The hospitals that opened appointments yesterday (Wednesday) for this population already have a full week. Walgreens also told us they have the appointments, ”Cardona said. “The idea with this population is to take the vaccine to many more parts of the island so that all peoples have the opportunity to get their young people vaccinated,” he added.
The adjutant general of the National Guard, José Reyes, reaffirmed in a radio interview (WKAQ) that starting Monday he will change the vaccination strategy to move to the most remote places, where people have not gotten the vaccine. He stated that the National Guard vaccination centers will continue to operate, but in a more limited way to move the necessary resources to other areas.
“We are coordinating with the Department of Education and there are other initiatives that we are going to announce,” said Cardona. “In the summer camps we are going to promote vaccination against covid-19 and other vaccines,” he said.
In Puerto Rico, Cardona explained, there are about 300,000 children under the age of 21. According to the doctor, 62% of the population over 65 years of age is vaccinated. As for the total population on the island, 33% already have the full dose of the vaccine.