Today, the government announced the approval of the Pfizer vaccination rollout for children aged 5 to 11 years old will commence next week on the 14th of February.
In a press statement, issued by the Director General of Health and Social Services Gaylene Tasmania says that Niue is very fortunate to be one of the few nations in the world to be free of COVID-19 however, with new COVID-19 variants emerging, there is an increasing concern for the safety of our children below the age of 12 who are not yet vaccinated.
Minister of Health, Hon. Sauni Tongatule says that despite having milder symptoms, there is still a significant health risk for children if they are not vaccinated. He advises that “being vaccinated is the best form of protection” and that we must protect our children.
“Niue is extremely fortunate that we have not yet had a COVID-19 case come through our border, and we are ensuring that the majority of our population is protected by vaccinating our children. Getting vaccinated also helps prevent them from passing it on to more vulnerable family members, like babies and elderly family members. For this reason, Niue has now approved the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine to Niue children aged 5 to 11 years old, with a 3 – 8 weeks gap between doses.”
Over 97% of the eligible population aged 12 years and over have received full vaccinations and in the past two weeks, the Niue Health Department administered more than one thousand doses of the booster vaccination. This means that more than 96% of those aged 18 years on the island have received their booster shots.
The Director of Health and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Edgar Akau’ola has advised that the vaccinations for the children are very safe. He also assures the public that vaccinations will be administered by “specially trained” staff who are prepared to answer questions from parents or their children.
“The COVID-19 vaccine used for children has a lower dose and smaller volume than the adult vaccine and is administered using a smaller needle. To be fully immunised against COVID-19, a child needs to get two doses of the vaccine and given at least eight weeks apart.”
“We’re looking forward to vaccinating our children during our annual health checks for children programme. All our staff who will be administering the vaccine to the children have been specially trained in childhood immunisations and are ready to answer any questions from parents or kids,” says Dr. Akau’ola.
BCN News understands that there are at least two hundred children on the island in the age group 5-11 year olds.
The government press release stated that an interval of 3-8 weeks between the first and second dose of the paediatric vaccine.
The government continues to encourage the very few people on the island who have yet to be vaccinated to contact the Health department if you want to get your vaccine or booster shot next week with the children.