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Covid-19: 5 to 11-year-olds to get vaccine as another coronavirus death recorded

Another death from Covid-19 was revealed by health officials last night as the health minister announced that vaccination would become available for children aged 5 to 11.

The latest fatality brought the death toll since the pandemic hit two years ago to 119.

Kim Wilson said the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office had confirmed the island would get 2,000 paediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine for children on Wednesday.

She told the public: “More details as to how and when to register your child will be provided in the coming days.”

Health officials said there were 137 positive results out of 5,142 tests that came back to health officials from tests carried out from last Wednesday to Saturday.

The island has 311 active cases – the lowest figure since December 23, when 343 cases were recorded.

There are 11 people in hospital, one in intensive care.

At the update given last Thursday, the number of cases of the virus stood at 471.

There were 18 people being treated in hospital for Covid-19, three of them in intensive care.

Officials said 19 of the new infections had come in from overseas, 54 were classed as on-island transmissions and 64 were under investigation.

There have been 296 recoveries since Thursday.

The lack of a vaccine option was highlighted last month by the group Us for Them Bermuda, which has been a major critic the Government’s requirement for children to wear masks in the classroom.

Young children, who were ineligible for the jab, were also being made to quarantine if close contacts of infected people.

One parent, who asked not to be identified, said the vaccine being available for youngsters might ease “onerous” restrictions.

She added: “The UK news indicates the vaccine for kids is not a high priority there, but kids here are still under heavy restrictions.”

The UK government has recommended the vaccine for younger children believed to be high risk because of pre-existing conditions since January 14 – and those who live with people with compromised immune systems.

Last night’s announcement came after the Government’s decision last Friday to relax restrictions against the pandemic as the number of infected people continued to fall.

SafeKey precautions, which showed either vaccination status or a recent clear test result, were dropped as a requirement for attending venues such as bars and restaurants.

But Ms Wilson reminded restaurants, bars and clubs that there was still a requirement for them to collect contact tracing information.

She said it was “an essential part of controlling outbreaks and the main way to stop any further spread”.

Ms Wilson added: “We must keep doing our part to keep each other safe and to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.”

The changes last Friday also raised the limit on large groups, including weddings and funerals, from 20 to 100.

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Published February 08, 2022 at 9:00 am (Updated February 08, 2022 at 10:27 am)

Covid-19: 5 to 11-year-olds to get vaccine as another coronavirus death recorded

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