Rita, a 9-year-old girl who seemed to understand why she was given the first dose of the adolescent Pfizer vaccination at her school, explained, “To protect myself against Covid-19.” After learning about the school’s immunization program for pupils aged 5 to 11, Rita’s mother completed a consent form. At home, we’ve all been fully vaccinated. We received our booster shot almost immediately. She stated that the time has arrived to safeguard our children against Covid-19.

The launch of Mauritius’ national vaccination campaign against Covid-19 for kids aged 5 to 11 years was held at the Petit Palais on May 23. Former deputy Chancellor Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, Education minister, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology; Dr Hon Kailesh Kumar Jagutpal, Cabinet secretary of Health and Wellness; Ms Charlotte Pierre, British High Commissioner; Dr Indrajit Hazarika, WHO Spokesperson a.i., and other dignitaries attended. Immunization of children aged 5 to 11 years is a big step forward in Mauritius’ fight over COVID-19, made feasible by a grant from the British government for pediatric Pfizer vaccines.

Pupils in primary and secondary schools, and also children in ‘Special Needs Schools,’ are targeted for this campaign. With parental agreement, children from 307 educational institutions will get two doses of the adolescent Pfizer vaccine within 4 to 8 weeks.

The Health Minister indicated at the start of the campaign that the majority of youngsters infected with the coronavirus in Mauritius did not acquire severe COVID-19 forms. “We need to protect our children now that children’s vaccines are available in Mauritius,” he said, “and I’m sure no mother wants to take chances with the arrival of new COVID-19 mutations.”

Dr. Hon. Jagutpal has emphasized the importance of maintaining the preventative policies put in place by both the Ministries of Health and Education when school reopened last year. “We’ve devised seven mobile teams to ensure that kids get immunized, including one for domiciliary immunization,” he continued.Vice-Prime Minister Dookun-Luchoomun urged all parents to get their children immunized in order to break the transmission chains. 

Hon. L.D. Dookun-Luchoomun noted, “It is vital that youngsters receive immunizations that will safeguard them and their families.”In his presentation, Dr Hazarika, WHO representative, said, “Today is a beautiful day for mothers, families, and children in Mauritius.” 

After the majority of Mauritian adults and youth were successfully vaccinated, it is now time to safeguard children against COVID-19.”According to the WHO Representative a.i., children can become severely ill from COVID-19, but they usually have fewer and milder symptoms than adults. In children, COVID-19 vaccine lowers the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, or long-term COVID-19 effects.

“Vaccination can preserve children’s health and safety while still allowing them to attend face-to-face sessions,” says the author. We are all aware of the importance of school attendance for a child’s mental health, well-being, and future prospects.” Dr. I. Hazarika believes so. We must continue to endeavor to safeguard the public through vaccination and adherence to basic public health principles, as these measures will help us achieve the best possible virus protection. 

By May 22, 2022, Mauritius has vaccinated 80 percent of its population against Covid-19, with over 77 percent receiving two doses, including schoolchildren aged 12 to 17.

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