Possible vaccination from 5 years of age onwards evaluated
Children may also be vulnerable to the Delta variant of Covid-19.
Health authorities assure that any decision on the matter will be previously agreed with the medical societies.
Santo Domingo, DR
The Ministry of Public Health reported yesterday that it is evaluating and analyzing the evidence for the possibility of including children from five years of age in the vaccination against the Covid-19 virus, but assures that any decision to be taken in this regard will be previously agreed with the specialized medical societies.
This was the response of the Ministry of Health authorities to the proposal made by the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) and other sectors to vaccinate children from the age of five against Covid-19 because of the fear of outbreaks in schools after the start of classes this week.
“The decisions that are going to be taken in that population group must necessarily be consensual, they must be taken by the State together with the different actors who are evaluating the evidence that there is currently of vaccination in children,” explained Dr. Eddy Perez-Then, advisor to the Ministry of Public Health on Covid-19 matters.
Perez-Then reminded that there are vaccines, such as those of Pfizer and Sinovac, which are outlined for the immunization of children, with studies that show efficiency in this population group, but that the Health Cabinet and the Ministry of Public Health are evaluating the evidence to reach a consensus with specialized societies and thus make the best decision in this regard.
He also assured that there are enough PCR and antigen tests to monitor and track cases in the educational community.
So far, the Ministry of Public Health has reports of Covid-19 cases in two private schools. A third is under investigation, whose on-site teaching began several weeks ago before those in the public sector informed the director of Epidemiology.
Perez-Then said that within the Calasanz centers, have been several positive children, some with siblings in other courses, who, before notifying Public Health, decided to close the school. On the other hand, the Don Bosco School, which proceeded to report the case of a potentially Covid-infected child, the established measures were taken and did not suspend the center’s work.
He reported that there is another school that Public Health is investigating after learning of cases of the virus by monitoring social networks.
Public and private educational centers must notify Public Health of any suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 in their schools, whether students, teaching, or administrative staff, and follow the protocol approved by consensus between the Ministries of Health and Education.
The notification should be made immediately if a case is suspected to the Provincial and Area Health Directorates, which after completing an evaluation and taking the samples and control actions, will determine the specific measures that each case deserves, including the closure of classrooms, areas or the campus.
Minister of Public Health Daniel Enrique de Jesús Rivera Reyes detailed that part of the protocol establishes that if a student is positive for a sample of the virus or is waiting for results, they should not go to the classrooms until they receive the negative results.
Likewise, if they present suspicious symptoms, if they are detected in the school, they must go to the isolation area until their parent or guardian picks them up. If symptoms appear at home, they should remain at home to be tested for Covid-19.