Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley Monday urged parents to ensure that their children are fully vaccinated ahead of the new school term.
Addressing the opening of the San Juan Primary School building on the outskirts of the capital, Rowley said that the government has the right to ensure the safety of all members of the population including school children.
The government has said that the 305,370 doses of the Pfizer vaccine donated by the United States would be used for vaccinating school children between the ages 12 to 18 years.
The government has said it is moving to re-open schools next month, on conditions that there is a significant increase in persons being vaccinated while the number of positive cases and deaths decline.
“Every child will be guaranteed an education, but the nature of that education, the face to face contact will be determined by the health and safety considerations and health and safety only.
“So I want all parents to understand. There are some people who believe that this is a joke. Maybe you lived in a pandemic before. Maybe you don’t observe the news, maybe you have not seen the pain of the thousand-odd families who have lost loved ones.
He said he listened to his colleague prime minister in Antigua and Barbuda on Monday calling out the ages of young people affected by the virus, including children as young as “a few months to age four, age eight, age 10 to age 12.
“I don’t think any parent in the country would want to be responsible for a child that is lying in the ICU, who could have been protected and given a chance to evade that experience. In Trinidad and Tobago, let us not be that”.
Rowley called for a nation of responsible leaders, responsible parents and responsible health providers.