Guam extends coronavirus vaccinations to child care workers

HAGATNA, Guam — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services announced plans to extend coronavirus vaccination eligibility to child care workers.

The U.S. territory’s Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Policy Committee approved updates Monday allowing the inclusion of workers involved in child care and hospital patients with comorbidities, meaning they already have two or more diseases, Pacific Daily News reported.

The committee, which provides guidance for the island’s vaccine rollout while initial supplies are limited, last week expanded eligibility to school employees and bus drivers, people with disabilities and homeless residents.

The health department will work with licensed child care businesses to compile lists of employees to be vaccinated, spokeswoman Janela Carrera said. Employees will likely have to wait to receive vaccines during clinics to be scheduled by the health department.

“We want to schedule them first so we can prepare the right amount of vaccine,” Carrera said.

Adult hospital patients suffering comorbidities are now eligible to be vaccinated upon discharge from Guam Memorial Hospital in Tamuning or Guam Regional Medical City in Dededo, Carrera said.

About 80% of Guam residents 75 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine.

About 17% of residents between the ages of 60 and 74 have received at least one dose of vaccine, Carrera said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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