Pfizer vaccines arrive in Seychelles to help nation's youth protect against COVID-19
The consignment of vaccines is a donation from the U.S under the COVAX programme. (U.S Embassy, Mauritius)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A first batch of 35,100 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines that are primarily meant for the island nation's youths arrived in Seychelles on Wednesday aboard a Qatar Airways flight.
The consignment of vaccines was handed over to the chief executive of the Seychelles Health Care Agency, Danny Louange, by Nicholas Christian, the political and economic officer of the United States embassy based in Mauritius.
The consignment of vaccines is a donation from the U.S under the COVAX programme. The vaccines will kickstart a vaccination campaign for youths aged 12 to 17 in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
The U.S embassy in Mauritius said in a press statement that the donation is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s global efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
|The vaccines arrived in Seychelles on Wednesday morning on a Qatar Airways flight. (U.S Embassy, Mauritius) Photo license: CC-BY|
"I am very proud that we are able to share this vaccine with Seychelles. Seychelles has been global leader in vaccination and this donation from the American people will help protect youth between 12 and 17 years old," the Chargée d’Affaires, Judes E. DeBaere said.
Louange said the first group to be vaccinated starting Friday, 10 September will be students of the National Institute of Health and Social Studies.
"There will also be other students who will be taking their vaccines together with those from NIHSS. We plan to give all the youths in that age group their vaccine within a week," said Louange.
Health officials will administer the first batch of vaccines at the Mont Fleuri vaccination centre while specific stations have been set up in other schools. Parents must give permission for their children to be vaccinated.
"Students from secondary schools will have theirs on Monday, in any one of the 10 stations that we have put in place," he added.
There will also be centres on Praslin and La Digue, the second and third most populated islands for that age group.
|The first batch of 35,100 vaccines will kickstart the vaccination programmes for the youth aged 12 to 17 years old. (U.S Embassy, Mauritius) Photo license: CC-BY|
The second dose of the Pfizer vaccines for the 12-17 years old will be 21 days after receiving their initial shot.
The Pfizer vaccines will be also given to unvaccinated Seychellois citizens who have been diagnosed with chronic illnesses and Louange said that "we will vaccinate this specific group of people in between inoculating the adolescents, and we plan to announce the exact time this will happen."
He added that according to the Ministry of Health's statistics "we know that there are many people who are yet to take a COVID-19 vaccine, who we will also give the opportunity to take the Pfizer shot."
The health authorities said this consignment of Pfizer vaccines will also be available for university students who are currently enrolled on overseas courses in countries that do not recognise certain vaccines the Seychelles is administering.
In the last vaccination figures given by the health authorities in May, 60,407 people from a population of 98,462 have received both doses of a vaccine. This represents 86 percent of the population target of 70,000.
So far, the country's health authority has administered Covishield, Sinopharm and Sputnik vaccines.