Covid-19: Cuba is now vaccinating children as young as two
Cuba government begun vaccinating children as young as 2 for Covid-19.
Cuba has recorded an average of about 7,000 new cases a day over the past seven days, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. With a population of more than 11 million, it has one of the highest coronavirus rates in the world.
While other countries have said they will eventually vaccinate children, Cuba is believed to be the first to give Covid-19 vaccines to toddlers. In September, it declared that its homegrown vaccines were safe to give to young children.
The government has not said how many children have been vaccinated but said a pediatric vaccination campaign began this week.
The goal of the campaign is to vaccinate at least 90% of the population, state-run media said. About half of the population has had one shot, and about one-third has had two shots, according to government data.
Throughout the pandemic, most in-person classes have been suspended on the island. Instead of going to school, children watch educational programming on television for hours each day. Home internet remains a rarity in the communist-run nation.
Cuba has largely focused on developing its own vaccines, rather than depend on other countries for the medications. Local scientists say the Cuban-made vaccines are safe and effective, but so far have provided little data to outside observers. The government has said it will seek WHO approval for its vaccines.
To date, according to the Cuban Health Ministry, over four million people have been fully vaccinated.
Initially the government said it would focus on vaccinating health care workers, the elderly and the hardest hit areas. But following a spike in infections of children believed to be caused by the Delta variant, the government announced it would also prioritize vaccinating young children.