Long lines of kids with their parents and guardians snaked around the Palau National Gym yesterday as they waited for their turn to go inside and receive their COVID-19 vaccines. But before the line was cleared, the parents were informed that the vaccines allocated for the day had run out and were advised to return on the next scheduled day (Wednesday).
“We have been waiting for so long and now we are told we have to come back,” complained one of the parents who had been in the line waiting with her child for over an hour.
“It’s not 6 pm yet and they’ve told us to go,” grumbled another parent whose child had been complaining about the heat and wearing a mask.
Over 500 kids were estimated to have shown up for vaccination yesterday. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are the scheduled days for kids ages 5-11 to get their vaccines, whereas Tuesdays and Thursdays are for those 18 years and above.
The rapidly rising cases of COVID-19 and school closure are giving parents and guardians the motivation and opportunity to get their children vaccinated, but the limited time (from 3 pm to 6 pm) and unknown number of allocated vaccines is resulting in a large group of people, especially children, exposed for long periods in crowded lines while waiting to be vaccinated.
As of yesterday evening, 30 new cases were identified bringing the total active cases to 130, as reported by MHHS Situation Update.
The report also said that 600 children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated but this does not take into account yesterday’s new vaccination numbers. 1,293 adolescents (12-17 years old) are fully vaccinated according to the same report.
The assumed Omicron variant spreading through the community is said to spread quite quickly and the local senior doctors Yano, Kuartei, and Roberts urge vaccination of all eligible persons to avoid the severe effects of COVID-19 if contracted.
So far, the Ministry of Health and Human Services reports that of the positive cases, few are showing mild symptoms while most are asymptomatic. Further, no one is hospitalized due to COVID-19 at this time. (By: L.N. Reklai)