WILMER JOEL, GIFF JOHNSON
The Ministry of Health and Human Services began implementing the Pfizer vaccine for students who are 12 to 17 years old in various local high schools and middle schools in Majuro earlier this month.
Each week on Fridays, ministry staff are going to these secondary schools to conduct the vaccinations. Their second stop, following a launch at Delap Park and then the start of the school campaign at Majuro Coop School and Life Skills Academy, was the largest high school in the country, Marshall Islands High School (MIHS).
Out of the more than 1,000 students in the school 461 were vaccinated. Those who did get vaccinated told the Journal that they felt drowsy and sleepy after they got the shot, other students claimed that they felt normal as if they were going through a typical day. While others felt under the weather.
Prior to the vaccination the school administration organized a meeting with the parents to inform about this initiative to get students vaccinated and there must parental approval.
“We want to be prepared and vaccinate students as much as possible, that’s the goal,” said Secretary of Health Jack Niedenthal. “We don’t want everyone to flock to get the vaccine when there is a Covid outbreak.”
Niedenthal added that the ministry will be back in mid-November to continue vaccinations with MIHS and is prioritizing vaccinating secondary schools in Majuro and Ebeye first before going to the schools in the outer islands.
In the first two weeks of October, the Ministry of Health and Human Services vaccinated 619 young people between the ages of 12-17 in Majuro.
The new vaccine program to extend Covid prevention coverage to children was launched October 1 using the Pfizer vaccine, that is US approved for this age group.
Schools next in line for the Covid vaccination program include Rita Christian School, Delap Elementary, Long Island Elementary, Rairok Rainbow, and Rita Elementary.