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Aitutaki children turn up in large numbers to get jabbed

Saturday 16 October 2021 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Health, National, Outer Islands

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Aitutaki children turn up in large numbers to get jabbed
The waiting area at Aitutaki vaccine rollout yesterday. SUPPLIED/21101552

Youth aged 12 to 15 in Aitutaki received their first dose of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine on Friday.

As of 6pm last night, a total of 147 people from 212 on the list received their vaccination. Of the 147, 104 were children from 12 to 15 years who received their first jab.

Forty-two (42) adults received their first dose and one received second dose.

Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health spokesperson Jaewynn McKay, who is on the island, said well before kick-off, children were running around the hospital ground waiting for their first shot.

“Within the first hour, there were over 100 12-15-year-olds with their parents and caregivers either waiting to get their first vaccination or in the recovery tent having had it,” McKay said.

“There was also a reasonable number of adults waiting for their vaccinations shots too.”

At around midday, she said the car park was busy and buses were on its way to the vaccination site.

After Aitutaki, Te Marae Ora vaccination roll-out (first dose) will move to Atiu (18-19 October); Mitiaro (23-24 October); Mauke (28-29 October) and Mangaia (1-2 November).

In Rarotonga, where vaccination for children between 12 to 15 years started, 86 per cent of the eligible youth population were vaccinated – 665 children.

It is estimated there are just over 1200 12 to 15-year-olds in the Cook Islands.

Also receiving their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Rarotonga were 228 adult residents who missed out in the earlier rollout. Sixty adult residents received their second dose.