The Department of Health announced that children between the ages of 12 and 17 are now eligible to receive Covid-19 vaccinations, starting from Wednesday, 20 October. However, this progress in the vaccine rollout has not come without some concerns.
NASGB spokesperson, Matakanye Matakanye said in the event that students and teachers continue to remain unvaccinated, this could negatively impact the education sector as Covid-19 cases in schools could increase.
What about the children, are the children not going to affect teachers in class?
Matakanye encourages teachers who are still hesitant about the vaccine to get vaccinated to make schools safer and Covid-19 free. This is an initiative that the National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) welcomes, as unvaccinated learners might pose a threat teachers.
Children will be getting one dose of Pfizer, as opposed to adults who get their second dose after 40 days of having received their first. It is reported that parental consent for vaccination of children will not be required.
This comes a few days before exam season is meant to be underway. By starting vaccinations before the exam period, government hopes give learners enough time to recover from the Pfizer vaccine side effects.
Though schools will not be running the vaccination campaign, they are called to assist health officials to make the vaccination program run smoothly.
Minister of Health Joe Phaahla said the decision to open up vaccinations to children follows a recommendation by the Vaccine Ministerial Advisory Committee which was supported by Health MECs and the cabinet.