COVID-19: First vaccination drive for children 5-11 years successful

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WhatsApp Image 2022-06-14 at 11.53.50 AM-a4fd1edb
Parents accompanied their children to get vaccinated

The government through the Ministry of Health continues to put measures in place to ensure citizens have adequate access to vaccination, with the latest being the roll-out of the first pediatric vaccination programme for children 5-11 years old.

The exercise, hosted on Saturday last, saw 153 children taking the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

This was revealed by Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony during Monday’s COVID-19 update.

“I think we had a very good exercise. We were able to vaccinate 153 children between the ages of five and 11. We also did other vaccinations because the parents who accompany the children, some of them got booster doses, and so we did another 51 doses in addition to the specific age group of 5-11,” the minister said.

Dr. Anthony noted that his ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to roll- out vaccination in other regions across the country.

“The Ministry of Education would have sent out consent forms to the parents and they have been able to collect a lot of those responses, so the schools where we have a higher percentage of responses that are positive, we are going to go into those schools and start vaccination.”

This week, the ministries will be taking teams to Regions Two, Three, Five and Six to vaccinate children within the 5-11 age cohort.

The health minister said vaccines have already been allocated to the regions, and health care workers trained to properly administer them.

Apart from the 5-11 age group, the ministry has begun administering booster doses to the adolescents (12 -17 years) population.

“We have started that from the first of this month, we’re getting a few people who are coming in and we are hopeful that we can get more persons coming to get the booster,” Dr. Anthony said.

Even as the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to report outbreaks of respiratory illness in a number of countries across the world, persons are learning to adapt to Covid and return to some level of normalcy.

The Health Minister is again urging citizens to abide by the COVID-19 guidelines of wearing masks, getting vaccinated, observing social distancing and ensuring indoor spaces are properly ventilated.

As of Monday, the ministry recorded 1,005 active cases. This significant rise is suspected to be as a result of the BA.2 variant. The minister noted that this variant is highly transmissible and can cause reinfections. He said the ministry will continue monitoring cases.

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