Vaccinated Children Create Safer Schools: Kumar

Vaccination for children is not mandatory. Ms Kumar said vacci­nation was important in protecting Fijians.
26 Nov 2021 12:21
 Vaccinated Children Create Safer Schools: Kumar
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Premila Kumar with Fiji Chemicals during the handover on November 25, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Minister for Education Premila Kumar is urging parents to get their children vaccinated in order to create a saf­er atmosphere for children when they return to school.

The Pfizer vaccine is available for children between the ages of 12 and 14 years old while the 15 to 17-year-old children are vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine.

Children below 12 years old are not offered vaccines yet and this is one of the reasons why the Min­istry of Education will continue with remote learning for students in early childhood education and up to Year Seven.

Vaccination for children is not mandatory. Ms Kumar said vacci­nation was important in protecting Fijians.

“It is crucial that vaccination rates in schools must increase. So far the eligible students are only up to 12 years old,” she said.

“And we have school aged chil­dren from five years and above. Unfortunately, they are not eligible for vaccines yet. But they still need protection and the only way we can protect them is to ensure that the adult population and children over the age of 12 get vaccinated.

“The vaccination rate now is 99.4 per cent for all our teachers.”

Ms Kumar said most schools would be compliant with COVID-safe protocols when schools reopen in January.

Ms Kumar highlighted that people should not be alarmed if children do contract COVID-19 in schools.

She said the Ministry of Educa­tion, and Ministry of Health have set guidelines which were subject to change.

She said the change was based on research and current scientific data.

Meanwhile, Fiji Chemicals hand­ed over $90,000 worth of sanitisers and other cleaning equipment.

And company director Darren Fisher has promised to help out with logistics, especially in storing the donated items.



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