As the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education continue to meet to work out the modalities for the safe reopening of schools in September, the Ministry of Health is recommending that students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to school.
Additionally, the Health Ministry also wants other measures including the wearing of masks and physical distancing to be implemented fully for the reopening of schools.
“So, you have three non-pharmaceutical methods of keeping people safe – masking, social-distancing, and of course sanitizing, and then we want to make sure that people are vaccinated. So once these four elements are in place, I think we can open schools in a much safer environment,” the Health Minister said during Monday’s COVID-19 update.
He explained that the vaccines which are being procured for children would cover children between the ages of 12-years-old – 18-years old.
The Health Minister said that the Ministry of Education will continue to set the stage for the reopening of schools. He said parents have been responding well to the vaccination plan.
“If we are going to reopen schools in a safe environment and protect the children then you will have to get vaccinated, and I am very happy that a lot of parents understand that, and they are eager to get their child immunized. As you know with the Delta variant, which is more infectious, we see it infecting children in a more adverse way,” the Minister said.
Additionally, Dr. Anthony explained that no school will be exempted from the vaccination requirements which will be put in place for children, adding that private institutions will also have to toe the line.
“All schools whether public or private will have to comply with the requirements for COVID-19, the order does not make an exemption whether you are private or not, so this goes across the board for all schools and similarly, through the Ministry of Education, we will be working with those private schools to ensure that children that meet the age requirement would be able to get vaccinated at those school,” the Health Minister said during his covid update.
While the Health Ministry has been talking about the procurement of vaccines to cover children, it is still to indicate an arrival date for the vaccines for children.