The Nation’s Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, and her Education counterpart, Jaime Perczyk, held a meeting today with representatives of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UNICEF, the Argentine Society of Pediatrics (SAP) and the Ombudsman for children and adolescents in order to reach consensus around the readjustment of the protocol prior to the start of the school year, and strategies to strengthen COVID-19 vaccination and co-administration with schedule vaccines in girls, boys and adolescents. teenagers.
The minister stressed that “this work table has been working for a long time with the Ministry of Education” and thanked the participation of all the institutions that joined to make their contributions. Then, he explained that the objective is “to continue working on three fundamental axes that are pediatric vaccination against COVID-19, to accelerate it even more, we have very important achievements to date; then he added, the importance of synergizing this vaccination with calendar vaccines; and in the readjustment of protocols in relation to the start of school because the situation in relation to the pandemic has totally changed, therefore the approach and the recommendations must also change.”
For his part, Perczyk highlighted the achievement of the National Ministry of Health in relation to COVID-19 vaccination in children and adolescents and valued the cooperative work of both ministries and all agencies “to protect all the educational community, to have a restorative school year and that this year we can begin to build another story, these summer weeks are going to be essential to achieve the largest number of girls, boys and teachers with full vaccination. To achieve this, we are going to work together with health and with the 24 jurisdictions to reach a start of classes with full and safe presence.”
Both officials highlighted that in just 13 weeks, COVID-19 vaccination in girls and boys between 3 and 11 years old reached 69.5% with the first dose and 46.3% with the complete schedule. They also highlighted that in adolescents between 12 and 17 years old, 85.7% already have the first dose and 67.5% with the complete scheme. And in relation to the teachers, they reported that more than 90% have a complete initial scheme and are advancing in the application of the reinforcements.
They also explained that the objective for the next 7 weeks that remain before the start of classes is to continue working together with the provinces to be able to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination and the calendar, incorporating new vaccination areas such as colonies and other spaces that allow to more people.
In this sense, the PAHO representative in Argentina, Eva Jané Llopis, indicated that “we must celebrate the successful progress of vaccination against COVID-19 in Argentina” and pointed out that “this is one of the few countries in the region that today has already reached the goal defined by the WHO of having, by June 2022, a vaccination coverage of 70% of its population”. He also valued the intersectoral coordination of ministries and actors for this initiative and stressed that “they have our full support to resume the national vaccination schedule and we will also continue to provide evidence on how to adapt protocols and how to expand vaccination against COVID-19 in children. , adolescents and young people”.
For his part, the president of the SAP, Pablo Moreno, celebrated the intersectoral approach to the issues and indicated that “we have accompanied the policies of the Ministry of Health regarding COVID-19 vaccination, we also believe that the recovery of the vaccines schedule it is a priority. We adhere, we celebrate and we are happy that the Education authorities are here because we have worked for school attendance”.
Meanwhile, the representative of UNICEF, Luisa Brumana, expressed the importance of “taking advantage of the moment of going back to school to encourage the vaccination of boys and girls.” And he considered that “the way is not mandatory, but to use this opportunity to encourage all vaccines and avoid a return to communicable diseases.” He also expressed his “willingness to continue to work in whatever way we can so that kids can go back to school safely and continuously.”
On the importance of ensuring school presence, Minister Vizzotti, in line with her Education counterpart, indicated that “the start of the school year has to be restorative, especially in the context of what they have been experiencing, the school is a space that we have to recover”.
For her part, the defender of the rights of children and adolescents, Marisa Graham, referred to the importance of working to recover the calendar vaccines in addition to those of COVID-19 and indicated that “it is a good opportunity to put on the table the issue of the schedule of vaccines for other diseases”. He also expressed his support for vaccination in schools because of the “gravity it has in the community.”
Finally, a roadmap was established to advance in the readjustment of the protocols for the beginning of the school year and it was anticipated that once finished they will be analyzed by the Federal Council of Health and the Federal Council of Education with the aim of generating the consensus required for updating.
The Secretary for Access to Health, Sandra Tirado, also participated in the meeting; the Undersecretary for Health Strategies, Juan Manuel Castelli; the Undersecretary for Management of Services and Institutes, Edith Benedetti; the director of Mental Health and Addictions, Silvia Bentolila; and the director of Epidemiology and Strategic Information, Analía Rearte. On behalf of the Ministry of Education, the deputy minister, Silvina Gvirtz; and the advisor, Mario Caputo.
Representing SAP, the 1st Vice President, Javier Indart de Arza; the 2nd Vice President, Fabiana Molina; the general secretary, Verónica Giubergia; the pro-secretary general, Lucrecia Arpi; the treasurer, Elizabeth Patricia Bogdanowicz; and the pediatric infectologist, Ángela Gentile.
In addition, the representatives of UNICEF, Julia Anciola and Natalia Calisti, participated; and the Director of Applied Research of the Ombudsman for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, Vanesa Salgado.