National PTA joins vaccine pushFriday, September 17, 2021
THE National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ) has committed to coordinating with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to host a number of sessions to update parents on the school vaccination programme and to promote take-up of the vaccine.
This was agreed upon during the recent quarterly meeting between the NPTAJ and the ministry.
To date, 56 schools across the ministry's seven regions are currently being used as sites for the national vaccination blitz now underway.
Students who already received their first dose started receiving their second dose as at September 11. A number of schools will be hosting blitzes on their campuses and will be functioning as sites for small schools, once a new shipment of the Pfizer vaccine arrives in Jamaica. Parents were also being accommodated at the 56 schools if they needed to be vaccinated, but those receiving first shots will not be given Pfizer as this brand will be used strictly for vaccinating children 12 to 18 years.
Minister of Education Fayval Williams welcomed the NPTAJ endorsement, describing it as an important signal to the nation as a whole.
“This is a national effort and we are happy for this commitment on the part of the NPTAJ. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will work earnestly and diligently with the NPTAJ on all matters affecting our students, especially on this vaccination drive,” said Williams.
The ministry's target is to achieve a minimum of 65 per cent student inoculation rate within secondary level institutions in order for these schools to be considered for face-to-face instruction.
Students at the primary level may also be able to be offered face-to-face classes depending on the positivity rate and further guidance from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Up to late last week the education ministry reported that more than 40,000 students had so far received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Scores of students received their second doses last weekend.
“We have a responsibility… to bring our students back to the face-to-face environment as safely as we can and, at this point in the pandemic, having our students vaccinated is the safest way. I am particularly talking about our secondary-school students because, as you know, our primary-school students, who are below the age of 12, there is no vaccination available for them yet,” said Williams as she announced the number of vaccinated students last week.