Adolescent COVID-19 vaccination drive taken to Diamond Secondary

The Ministry of Health continued its vaccination drive for children 12 to 17 years at the Diamond Secondary School, East Bank Demerara (EBD), on Tuesday where scores were inoculated with the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approved Pfizer vaccine.

Students told DPI that they took the vaccine to protect themselves against the disease and encouraged others to do the same.

Mallika Raghubansi urged her peers to take the vaccine and be safe.

“I was actually nervous before but I didn’t even feel anything so I’m fine. Just take the vaccine guys… just take it and be safe and on the safe side,” she said.

Mallika Raghubansi, a student who took her vaccine

Samuel Seukiree another student encouraged others to be immunised. He said he is looking forward to the reopening of school, as interactions in the classrooms are better than online learning.

“When I first get the vaccine, it was just a bit numb but that’s all that happen, it was a quick process, nothing really much happened to me so I would encourage everybody else to come take the vaccine…

“To me when school reopens it’s better than online classes to learn because you get to meet the teacher in person and you know your classmates and so,” Seukiree told DPI in an invited comment.

Samuel Seukiree speaking with DPI after he took his vaccine

Meanwhile, Seukiree’s mother, Ms. Amanda Takurdin said she was cautious about the vaccine at first, but with research she is now able to understand its effectiveness. She is also encouraging parents to get their children inoculated.

“I think if they’re unsure at the moment you know research, reach out to other parents that went and do the vaccine because we’re not gonna put something unhealthy in our kids’ bodies right, cause after all our kids is our life, so I think it’s safe,” she said.

Several other parents said persons should get their children vaccinated in order to protect them and others around them.

A student taking his vaccine

Mr. Shameer Housain said “I think vaccination for children is a good idea and to safeguard your kids, I wish [to]…compliment everyone…because we don’t want to go out there seeing kids suffering”. He said he is happy that schools are reopening in September.

“I feel good that schools are reopening because it is hard for the children them who is at home and I’m seeing it that the children them who don’t have internet that they can’t get to go to school, they can’t get no teaching and I’m happy for them that school will be opening so they can get a chance to go back in the classroom,” Mr. Housain said.

Mr. Shameer Housain, one of the parents who spoke with DPI

Ms. Lisa Ross related that vaccination is the best way to move forward. She said she wants to protect her son from the deadly disease.

“I think we should get our kids vaccinated, as I said I think this is the best way forward and if the adults are being vaccinated, I think the children should too because we’re protecting ourselves, we should protect our kids too because we’re out there everyday you don’t know what you can bring back and give your kids,” Ms. Ross said.

Mr. Trevor Grant said “I think it’s a good thing for children to take the vaccines because it helping, if they contracted the virus and to help them to not become severely ill and hospitalised, even death…I brought my child because I think it’s the safest thing to do for him.”

Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson said he was pleased with the turn-out and hopes that a “substantial amount” of students would be vaccinated by the end of the day.

Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education, Dr. Marcel Hutson

“It is important that we get our children back in the school system and we want to make sure that our students are safe and that we take all precautionary measures and this is one of the most important measure and that is to have our students vaccinated,” Dr. Hutson said. The countrywide COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents commenced on August 26  and has since been rolled out across the country in preparation for the September 6reopening of schools.