Cuba became the first country to begin vaccinating children over the age of two against COVID-19 on Monday. The government is employing vaccines developed in-house that are not recognised by the World Health Organization.
Several other countries have begun vaccinating children beyond the age of 12. Schools in Cuba resumed on Monday, but lectures are being broadcast on television. Since March 2020, schools in the communist country have been closed. Authorities hope to vaccinate all children so that schools can reopen. Cuban officials plan to reopen schools in October and November.
China, the UAE, and Venezuela have all declared plans to vaccinate young children, but Cuba is the first, according to AFP.
Cuba has reported an average of 7,000 new cases each day during the previous seven days. Cuba has reported 696,904 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,788 deaths. Chile authorised the Sinovac vaccination for children aged six to twelve on Monday. There has been no worldwide scientific peer assessment of the vaccine produced in Cuba.
Cuba also intends to relaunch its tourist business. In the province of Cienfuegos, the government began giving immunizations to children aged 2 to 11. As “the long-term costs of closures are too high and hard to justify”, UNICEF has called for schools worldwide to reopen as soon as possible.
“As the experience with this pandemic shows, no country can let down its guard. Complacency can be as dangerous as the virus itself. We must continue to be vigilant.” said the director-general of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Monday. Ghebreyesus has asked governments to prioritise delivering vaccines to countries where just 1% or 2% of the population has been immunised.