by Eulana Weekes
St.Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Ministry of Health Anguilla has begun to administer Pfizer Vaccines to children aged 5-11 years. The vaccine drive began on Friday, February 18 2022.
During a Press Conference on Tuesday, February 22, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mr Merwyn Foster Rogers explained the importance of having everyone vaccinated.
“The evidence is there that vaccination helps; vaccination is a good strategy to protect ourselves. Vaccinations are safe. Vaccinations are a way for us to get back to as normal as possible.”
Rogers said Anguilla is dependent upon Tourism for survival, which entails the movement of people from different countries in large groups. He said, however, that it is important for residents of Anguilla to be protected at all age levels and also to ensure that the economy works.
As it relates to the vaccination of younger children, Rogers encouraged parents to take advantage of some available options, if they have any concerns pertaining to the vaccine.
“We encourage persons, parents, in particular, to read, to ask questions; we ask parents to ask the tough questions; certainly these are your children, these are minors within your care and we think that from the Ministry of Health, it is our duty to ensure that these children are protected, through ensuring that you have the right information, for you to make the right decisions for your families and for the country at large.
Nurse Faye Thomas- Astaphan, Manager of the Programme of Immunisation, in the Ministry of Health Anguilla was also a guest on the panel. She shared her experience vaccinating children 5 – 11 years against COVID-19.
“We started giving our five to 11-year-olds on Friday and I must say, those kids were so brave. I was so amazed at how brave they were and they were actually encouraging their parents to get the vaccine and I cannot get over how impressed I was with these children.”
Nurse Thomas-Astaphan proceeded to explain the dosage being administered to the 5 – 11-year-olds.
“It is basically similar to the adult dose, but it is actually formulated for children, and it is a smaller dose. It is just as effective as the adult Pfizer vaccine dose.”
The Nurse disclosed that once the vaccine is administered to children, they will be monitored for 10 to 15 minutes. Children with a history of allergic reactions will be monitored a little longer, for up to 30 minutes. Nurse Thomas- Astaphan encouraged parents to call the hotline or take the child to the hospital if they realise something unusual, strange or questionable following the inoculation of the vaccine.