Covid: Adolescent vaccination lagging, children still at risk – Health Minister

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A Covid-19 vaccination drive for children

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony is again calling on parents and guardians to allow their children, 12 to 17 years old, to be vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus.

He said more children need to come forward as the low vaccination rate among that age group is worrisome.

“So, I want to make a big appeal to parents, teachers, to influential people in the community to encourage young people between the ages of 12 and 17 to come out and get the vaccine, because we need to up these numbers, if we are going to protect the children in this age category,” he said.

The Minister made the call on Thursday during the daily COVID-19 update.

He said while some children may not be severely affected by the disease, they might develop “multisystemic disorders.”

“While children might experience a milder form of the COVID disease, in some children they have multisystemic disorders and it can lead to severe forms of the disease. So, it is something that we need to monitor and children need to be vaccinated to keep them safe,” the Minister stated.

The Health Minister relayed his concerns about the low vaccination rate for the children which currently stands at 39.1 percent for the first dose and 27.1 percent for second dose.

“We have to redouble our efforts with the Ministry of Education, to make sure that more of the persons who are at school are within this school age, that they get their vaccination and obviously those out of school youths that fall under this age category, to encourage them to get vaccinated,” Minister Anthony said.

As of Wednesday, 76.6 per cent of the adult population took the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 51.9 per cent are fully immunised against the disease.

There are currently 2, 049 active cases in the country, of that number, 64 persons are hospitalized, with 16 patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Ocean View facility.