Children on Saba between the age of 5 and 11 will be receiving a COVID-19 vaccination next Tuesday, February 1st. The vaccines arrived from the Netherlands on Tuesday, January 25th; with the assistance of the Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sport (VWS) and the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the vaccines were transported from the Netherlands to St. Maarten on Royal Dutch Airlines KLM and then taken to Saba with Windward Islands Airways International Winair.
Children will receive an age-appropriate dose of the vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech. The vaccine is the same as the one that has been given to adults, but children 5-11 years receive one-third of the active ingredients given to adults. The immune response of young children at a lower dose is just as good as the immune response of adolescents and adults to the regular dose. Adults 18+ on Saba have already received two COVID-19 vaccinations and a booster. Adolescents (12-17) received the two regular doses.
In total, 140 children between the age of 5 and 11 on Saba are eligible to receive the vaccine. Each child was given a letter to take home to their parents. Parents need to return this consent letter to the child’s class teacher by January 27. After receiving the consent letters through the school, the Public Health Department will give each child an appointment time. The vaccines will be administered on February 1st at Saba Cares. Eight weeks later, the children will receive the second dose.