Pfizer vaccines now approved for children on St. Maarten

Pfizer vaccines now approved  for children on St. Maarten

Department Head of CPS Eva Lista-deWeever (first left), Minister Ottley (second left) and staff of CPS.

PHILIPSBURG--The Paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now available to all children on the island.

  Children ages five to 11 years are eligible to take two doses of the vaccine 21 days apart. This was announced in a press release from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA on Tuesday. 

  Children aged 12-17 years don’t need to register. This age group will be able to walk-in with a parent and receive the Pfizer vaccine during regular COVID vaccine clinic hours at the Vineyard Building.

  “The vaccine is free, very safe, and proven to be effective,” said the release.

  The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was granted Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for prevention of COVID-19 disease to include children five through 11 years of age, as of October 29.

  According to the release, the FDA had a very thorough and transparent evaluation which summarised that the vaccine has comparable effectiveness in this five to 11 year age group, as it did in the older 16-25 year age group. The vaccine was found to be 90.7 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 disease among children.

  The vaccine was studied in 3,100 children aged five to 11 years, and no serious and long lasting side effects were detected in the study. To quote the study: “Commonly reported side effects in the clinical trial included injection site pain (sore arm), redness and swelling, fatigue, headache, muscle and/or joint pain, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, nausea and decreased appetite. More children reported side effects after the second dose than after the first dose. Side effects were generally mild to moderate in severity and occurred within two days after vaccination, and most went away within one to two days.”

  The dreaded side effect of myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation around the heart) were still rare. Due to this rarity, and the fact that the benefits far outweigh the risks, the vaccination was granted emergency use authorisation by FDA with the support of many paediatricians and experts in the field.

  “It is imperative that we now protect our children with the vaccine, especially with current outbreaks within the schools. Sign your child(ren) aged five-11 years up using the link above and you will receive an appointment. There will be a paediatrician available at the clinic during appointment hours to further discuss any questions you may have.

  Parents, can register your child to take the vaccine via this link below. Once registered, the child will be invited for an appointment to come in at a specific date, time and location to receive their Paediatric vaccination.

  Furthermore, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) is urging all residents who have not taken doses one and two of the Pfizer vaccine to go to the Vineyard Building between the hours of 8:30am to 12:00pm and 1:30pm to 3:00pm. Those in the community who are already vaccinated, are strongly encouraged to come for the Booster, if it has been three months since your last vaccine.

  For further information about the Paediatric vaccine, call the vaccination hotline at 721 526-1644. For all other vaccine and testing related questions, please call CPS at 914.

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