By Theresa Goodwin
Parents and guardians are being encouraged to take part in the school vaccination education programme as rollout of the Pfizer jab for children continues ahead of the return to the classroom.
The first online session was held via Zoom Wednesday evening, with more scheduled to take place over the next week before concluding next Monday.
Education Ministry spokesman Phil George explained that the target audience is school staff and parents of students who are 12 years and older.
“It is a perfect opportunity to hear directly from the medical practitioners that will form part of the programme.
“The practitioners include Dr Lester Simon, paediatrician Dr Edda Hadeed, Dr Dane Abbott and Dr Joycelyn Walter Thomas,” George said.
The Pfizer-BioNTech shot – which arrived on island last month – has been approved in the US for use in children aged 12 and above.
“The education programme also allows parents and guardians to ask questions directly to the medical practitioners and to solicit their responses that will hopefully aid in parents and guardians making that decision on whether they wish to have their children inoculated,” George added.
Parents are being asked to view the sessions as a family rather than using multiple devices in one household. The ministry is also appealing to residents to support other families without access to Zoom within a bubble.
All meetings will run from 5pm to 6.30pm.
The first session last evening was for students and staff from All Saints Secondary, Antigua Girls High School and Jennings Secondary. The presenters were Dr Edda Hadeed, Dr Alefa Stevens and pharmacist Markie Spence.
The second session taking place today will cater to students from Ottos Comprehensive, McChesney George Secondary, Princess Margaret Secondary, Christ the King High School, Divine Academy, Island Academy and Trinity Academy.
Session three will be held on September 3 for students and faculty from St Anthony’s Secondary, Pares Secondary, Baptist Academy, Sir Novelle Richards, Clare Hall Secondary, Irene B Williams and zone one primary school students.
The final session in the vaccination education programme will be on September 6 for Antigua Grammar School, Antigua State College, Glanvilles Secondary, Seventh Day Adventist, primary school students from zones two, three and four, International Institute of Technology, St Joseph’s Academy, St Mary’s Secondary and the International Institute of Continuing Education.
Log-in details for parents and guardians are available from the respective schools.