Covid-19 immunisation programme Childcare sector workers get their jabs

As part of the Covid-19 vaccination programme of the Ministry of Health, the early years’ childcare workforce from both registered and non-registered services on Mahé have received their jabs.

Vaccination for this sector took place yesterday at the Green and Yellow Roof Building, Ministry of Health, Mont Fleuri.

Seychelles has been among the first country in the African region to roll out the national inoculation campaign against Covid-19 amid a surge in the number of cases. It is also one of the first countries within the region to give priority for the vaccine to the workers of the childcare sector. This follows a direct request from IECD to the health authorities to consider the childcare workers and regulatory professionals, as a priority and vulnerable group. This is in line with the Covid-19 Task Force Recovery Plan for the Sub-committee on Childcare, led by IECD.

The aim is to intensify efforts in safeguarding the health of childcare providers, their staff and families alike and, most importantly, the children in their care. This is to ensure the continuity of childcare services and their early learning programme and, ultimately, to minimise the impact of the virus on the holistic development of children.

The childcare facilities, regarded as one of the most essential services, have remained opened during this pandemic, while other educational institutions and services have temporarily closed down. This poses a risk of transmission among childcare providers, their staff, and the children themselves. With mask not always a feasible option, and social distancing difficult among this age group, the risk for cross-infection to adults and vice-versa can be high. Hence according to literatures, immunisation of childcare workers is an effective way to manage the risks because many diseases are infectious before the onset of symptoms.

The chief executive of IECD, Shirley Choppy, added that the “immunisation programme of Covid-19 to this vulnerable group of professionals in childcare is a great boost to the childcare sector and the country as a whole. It will increase parent’s confidence in the safety of the childcare environments and their workers, help to sustain the childcare business and staff employment especially during this unprecedented and difficult time”.