No spike in COVID cases or adverse reactions recorded as school reopens – Health Minister

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A complete return to full face-to-face classes started on Monday and since then, there has not been a spike in COVID-19 cases nor has there been any reported adverse reactions to the disease.

“Through the surveillance system, we were able to monitor cases and we have not seen any upsurge in cases,” the Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said during his COVID-19 update on Friday.

He, however, acknowledged that the recent reduction in COVID-19 testing is a factor to consider while addressing the absence of a spike in cases.

Importantly, too, if an individual is infected, it will take about five days before viral particles can be readily identified in the body. Schools have only been open for four days for some learners.

Since the health authorities continues to monitor schools and children’s well-being, Dr. Anthony again made a fervent appeal for eligible students to get vaccinated.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are available for teenagers aged 12 to 17 years old but there has been a slow uptake of these vaccines.

In fact, on Friday, the Health Minister said that only 34,545 teenagers (or 47.4 per cent of the targeted population) have taken their first Pfizer dose; 25,268 teenagers (34.6 per cent) took both their first and second doses.

On April 13, the Health Minister related that 34,398 teenagers (or 47.2 per cent of the adolescent population) took at least one Pfizer COVID-19 dose; 25,148 teenagers (34.5 per cent) took both their first and second doses.

That means in just over two weeks, only another 147 teenagers took their first dose while only another 120 teenagers took their second dose.

The Health Minister said that more parents need to grant their permission for the teenagers to get vaccinated. With more teenagers vaccinated, only then can booster doses can be distributed.

“I think a lot of people think that COVID is over, we don’t have a lot of cases and we shouldn’t be bothered,” the Health Minister lamented.

Meanwhile, 440,282 adults were vaccinated with at least one COVID-19 dose; 339,532 adults took their first and second doses. A total of 62,371 adults have received booster doses.

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