Santo Domingo, Feb 14 (EFE).- The Dominican Republic began administering Covid-19 vaccine doses to children aged five to 11 on Monday at 388 schools nationwide, a campaign aimed at inoculating 1.2 million kids in that age range over the next six months.
China’s Sinovac shot is being used for this immunization drive, the same vaccine that was used to provide most Dominican adults with their initial two-dose series.
Dr. Jesus Suardi from Area 4 de Salud, a social security office in Santo Domingo, told Efe there was high demand at the start of the rollout.
At the Salome Ureña school in Capotillo, a low-income neighborhood in this capital, young children received the shots from the skillful hand of a nurse named Miguelina before enjoying a small treat.
Suardi said the first day has gone smoothly and with almost no resistance from the newly vaccinated, with only a handful of children expressing fear of the needles and making a small scene.
The designated vaccine area attended to a steady flow of children even as the school day unfolded normally in the remainder of the classrooms.
Children whose parents have decided against their being administered the vaccine may still attend in-person schooling without showing proof of a negative PCR test result, which is a requirement for unvaccinated kids aged 12 and over and for school personnel.
A total of 5.8 million people – or just over 53 percent of the population – have received a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine series to date in the Dominican Republic and 2.1 million people have received at least one booster shot, according to Public Health Ministry figures through Feb. 13.
The vaccine campaign got off to a strong start but has turned sluggish in recent months in the Dominican Republic, where the government has said proof of three doses of a Covid-19 vaccine will be required starting next week to gain access to most public places.
That Caribbean country registered 256 new confirmed cases, the lowest total of 2022, and no new deaths over the most recent 24-hour period. EFE