Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, says the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination blitz for children, 12-18 years, has been proceeding smoothly at the various designated centres.
This, she said, was based on what she saw during her visit to several locations over the weekend and reports received.
Additionally, the Minister said she was pleased with the outturn of students and parents that she has, so far, seen.
Speaking with JIS News on Saturday (August 21), Mrs. Williams said if the extent of the vaccination proceedings administered at two of the centres in the Corporate Area, Jamaica College and the National Arena, is replicated islandwide, this will bolster the certainty of resuming face-to-face classroom instructional delivery early in the 2021/22 academic year, which starts in September.
“Many students are anxious to be back in the face-to-face environment. Parents see this [vaccination blitz] as giving safety and assurance to their children, and they are anxious for the children to get vaccinated,” the Minister stated.
Mrs. Williams added that all regional offices have participated in planning and organising the arrangements to vaccinate children against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for youngsters, 12 years and older.
“I [urge] parents to allow their children to get vaccinated. It will allow us to have greater surety and confidence going back into the full reopening of school, especially for high school students who will be sitting examinations,” she said.
Medical Officer for Kingston and St. Andrew, Dr. Debbie Carrington, said activities at the National Arena were administered smoothly with assistance from personnel from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) who handled crowd control.
She also urged persons to take the vaccine, emphasising that “we want to get back to normalcy, and the only way to do that is to be vaccinated.”
“The more of us who are vaccinated, the better off we all [will be],” Dr. Carrington said.
Meanwhile, educator and father of three high school children, Marvelous Davis, told JIS News that vaccination will be pivotal to normality returning in the education sector.
“It is key, going forward, to have every child getting back to the norm of face-to-face connection with their teachers, and it is very important that, as parents, we get everybody vaccinated,” he said.
The four-day blitz commenced at designate vaccinations islandwide on Saturday (August 21) and is slated to conclude on Tuesday (August 24).
Youngsters, 12-18 years, are being inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for this age cohort