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New vaccines for newborns

Saturday 26 March 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Health, National

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New vaccines for newborns
A pharmacist prepares an injection. (PHOTO: Brett Carlsen/The New York Times). 21061523

Two new vaccinations for children two years and under will be introduced and rolled out next month on April 7.

The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) is used to vaccinate children to protect them against pneumococcal disease more commonly known as pneumonia. These doses are given at the ages of six weeks, three months and eight months old.

For the Rotavirus vaccine, this is to help prevent a certain virus infection (rotavirus) in infants and young children which can cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. These doses are given at the age of six weeks and three months and will help protect children under the age of two years.

Public health nurse Rufina Tutai says it is best to help prevent and protect our children.

Families travelling overseas with their children should be mindful that immunisation certificates are required when registering children in schools.

Parents and care givers are encouraged to call Public Health on phone number 29110 to order the certificate at a cost of $15.

“Please order the immunisation paperwork two weeks prior to your departure date, and not on the day you are travelling.”

Tutai acknowledged the support from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Rarotonga Rotary, World Health Organization and Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health for the vaccines.

Meanwhile those who would like to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and booster shots are asked to meet at the Social Centre in Nikao today.

Te Marae Ora health ministry has administered 13,226 first dose of the Pfizer vaccine for 12 years and over. A total of 12,980 have received their second dose. The third or booster dose have been administered to 9903 people. In total 36,026 doses have been administered so far fort eligible 12 years and over population.

For 5 to 11 years, from the eligible population of 2083, 1766 have received their first dose and 1593 their second dose.

Next month or early May, the Flu vaccine will be on the island, those who would like flu jab are asked to contact the Public Health to register their interest.