NATION

COVID-19: Students Vaccinate, Eager To Get Back To School

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched the student’s vaccination campaign in Parliament marking the beginning of the vaccination drive for 15-to-17-year-old students.
21 Sep 2021 12:00
COVID-19: Students Vaccinate, Eager To Get Back To School
Year 12 student Saula Muriwaqa of Queen Victoria School with his mother, Milika Muriwaqa, as he receives his first dose of Moderna vaccine from Staff Nurse Merewalesi Baba at Gospel High School hall on September 20, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

I just want to get back to the classroom and learn like I used to before COVID happened.

This was the sentiment shared by Saula Muriwaqa, after he was part of the first batch of 15 to 17-year-old students, to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at Gospel High School in Suva yesterday.

A crowd of over 90 people had arrived by mid day for the vaccination drive.

AnneMary Raduva 17, a Year 12 student received her first dose of Moderna vaccine at Gopel High School hall on September 20, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

AnneMary Raduva 17, a Year 12 student received her first dose of Moderna vaccine at Gopel High School hall on September 20, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Nadi

In Nadi, the COVID-19 vaccination programme was conducted at Prince Charles Park. It was crowded with 15 to 17-year-old students accompanied by their parents.

Vilimaina Tasoqosoqo, 17, a Year 13 student of Sabeto College, said she couldn’t wait to get vaccinated because she wanted to go back to school.

“I want to get vaccinated today because I am looking forward to school. Getting vaccinated is important because it helps protect me from the COVID-19 virus.”

Her sentiments were echoed by her mother, Teresa Seruwaia.

“We all really wanted for everything to get back to normal. This vaccination ensures that she is safe when school resumes and also associated with other vaccinated school mates,” Ms Seruwaia said.

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Foster, a student of Swami Vivekananda College, said: “The pandemic really affected the people in Nadi, but for us, getting vaccinated will help ease the current situation here. I want to encourage other students to take the jab because it will help save their lives.”

Fifteen-year-old, Christina Kavita, a Year 10 student of Sabeto College, who arrived at the vaccination drive with her grandfather, also said she was eager to get vaccinated because she wanted to go back to school and meet her friends and teachers.

“I just couldn’t wait for everything to get back to normal,” she added.

Lautoka

In Lautoka, parents and students flocked to Tilak High School.

Samuela Delai, 52, of Vakabuli, Lautoka, brought his daughters Selai Bulimaibau, 15, and Laiola Repeka, 17, who were both students of Drasa Secondary School.

“This is for the protection of the lives of our children because education is important and this is to make things easier for schools to open again because it’s been long that the schools have been closed and it’s affected them very much,” he said.

Riya Ishita Ram, 15, of Saru, Lautoka, also received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine and said she would be due to get her second dose in 28 days.

“It feels great, as for the vaccine I think it’s good, it’s for the betterment and schools will start soon so things will be back to normal,” she said.

Proud father Rohit Ravinesh said he was also anticipating the reopening of schools and the easing of restrictions.

“Earlier is better for the schools to be open because staying home this long is not good. They (parents) should be fast, borders need to be open because everyone is struggling a lot,” he said.

The father of two said he and his oldest son were already vaccinated.

Parents wait with their children at the registration area in Tilak High School, Lautoka on September 20, 2021. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Parents wait with their children at the registration area in Tilak High School, Lautoka on September 20, 2021. Photo: Salote Qalubau

PM’s advice

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched the student’s vaccination campaign in Parliament marking the beginning of the vaccination drive for 15-to-17-year-old students.

Mr Bainimarama emphasised the need for all parents to keep themselves updated on the Moderna vaccine, its rollout programme and to learn more about the benefits of the vaccine for their children on the Fijian Government’s Facebook page. As well as across the air waves on radio and in the newspapers.

“As parents and guardians, you will be asked to register your consent for your children to receive this vaccine,” he said.Year 12 student Saula Muriwaqa of Queen Victoria School with his mother, Milika Muriwaqa, as he receives his first dose of Moderna vaccine from Staff Nurse Merewalesi Baba at Gospel High School hall on September 20, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

“We encourage you to do so online through the Vaccine Registry portal that is posted on the Fijian Government and Ministry of Health Facebook pages.

“Registration is very simple – It requires the Birth Registration Number, Citizenship Certificate Number or Permit Number from both the parent or guardian, and the child, entered alongside correlating dates of birth.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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