It has been decided between the Niue High School and the Health Department that the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old will begin on the 24th of September.
This was confirmed by the Head of Public Health Grizelda Mokoia at a meeting held yesterday for parents and the community on the vaccination programme for the children.
Unlike the adults when it was 21 days interval between jabs, there will be a six weeks interval between the first and second jab for the children.
“The idea is to minimise as best as possible any possible side effects from the vaccine, hence the reason why they will get their second shot six weeks after” explained Ms Mokoia.
The school also wants the children to have a two-week break after the completion of the vaccination programme before they start with their end-of-year exams.
The Health team led by Director of Health Dr. Eddie Akauola, Grizelda Mokoia, and Alicia Hipa spoke to about fifteen parents yesterday afternoon at Niue High School. There is another awareness meeting to be held this afternoon for parents and the community.
The discussion included the need for parents to provide their consent as soon as possible so that the Health Department will be able to make the order for the vaccine to New Zealand.
Alicia Hipa asked that the community also consider that there is a high demand for the Pfizer vaccines overseas and we cannot afford to waste any if they were to order more than what is needed. She told the meeting to consider the thousands of people in New Zealand who have yet to receive their vaccine as well.
“We want to make sure that what we do bring into Niue (vaccines) that we don’t waste any because wasting a few vials is taking that away from people in New Zealand who are waiting to get vaccinated”.
The Deputy Principal of Niue High School Moira Jackson was also at the meeting. She said that the school will continue to work closely with the Health department especially with this vaccine rollout.
Moira Jackson says that they want what is best for the school.
“We want what’s best for the school. We only have one high school here and we need full protection for the staff and the students”.
One of the parents asked what the school’s position will be if some of the students don’t get vaccinated.
“We need to have further discussions with regards to those that refuse because we really can’t force parents but it’s about reassuring them about the importance of this vaccination for our safety and for their safety going forward”.
The children will be vaccinated at the Niuefoou hospital and the parents can accompany their children.
There will be a fifteen-minute observation after the shot is administered before they can leave.
There are 141 children in this age group according to Statistics Niue which also includes the children who turned 16 after July this year.