Nursing, social worker students among first Seychellois to receive Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine
The vaccination campaign for 12 to 17-year-olds started on Friday with students of the NIHSS and Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Students training to become nurses and social workers were among the first Seychellois to take the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.
Students of the National Institute for Health and Social Services (NIHSS) -- a post-secondary school that trains future health workers and social workers – took their first dose at the Mont Fleuri vaccination centre before 9 a.m. on Friday. They were followed by students of the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (SITE).
The arrival this week of the Pfizer vaccine -- a donation from the United States -- set in motion Seychelles' next step in its vaccination campaign. The Pfizer vaccines are meant primarily for youths ages 12 to 17, and a short ceremony was held to kickstart the vaccination campaign on Friday.
|The Pfizer vaccine is being used for the vaccination campaign of 12 to 17-year-olds. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY|
Speaking to the press at the vaccination centre after having taken her vaccine, Elisa Jean, a student at NIHSS, said that although she was frightened at first, she was happy to take the vaccine.
"My parents explained to me that since I have a younger sister who would be unable to take the vaccine, it was down to me to take it and protect her in the process, since both my parents have already taken the vaccine as well," said Jean.
The NIHSS registrar Vanessa Seth said, "Our students have a lot of hands-on work they do when on attachment in the industry, and since they are exposed to fieldwork, they are very aware of the risks of contracting the virus as they have direct contact with others."
|The first batch of students took their first doses on Friday at the Mont Fleuri Community centre. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY|
Before the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, other NIHSS students who were 18 years of age and above had already taken the other vaccines that were available to them.
"Around 85 percent of our students had already taken their Covid-19 vaccines, with this new group, we will have around 90 percent vaccinated. Out of the 35 students who qualified for Pfizer today, only 10 did not sign the consent forms but we are working with them to encourage them to take their shots," said Seth.
After having taken their vaccines, the students all headed back to school to continue with their schooling.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, received 35,100 Pfizer vaccines on Wednesday morning under the COVAX programme that the island nation and other African states have signed with the United States.