Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
As most schools prepare to accept students back next week, school leaders like Rowandale School Principal Karl Vasau in Manurewa are urging parents to make the ‘right choice’ for their children.
The vaccine for 5 -11 year olds became available nationwide on January 17th after it was approved by Medsafe. Containing a lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine, parents or caregivers have been given the option to vaccinate their children.
Vasau says he has fielded some concerns from parents regarding the vaccination program and says it’s important to heed medical advice. He also encourages them to follow the restrictions under the red traffic light settings.
“There are already normal safety measures in place such as sanitizing, masking up and social distancing by the government,” he says.
“Parents must understand that the vaccine is a tool that protects our children, and parents should make a decision based on fact.”
Vasau says the same awareness is not only needed in the classroom, but also in the homes of the children with their parents.
“Communication is key in these times and children being informed by their parents really creates an open space for both parties to understand and be aware.
“Parents need to be honest and talanoa/talk about Covid to their kids. Talk to them about lockdown and the different measures that take place in the process.
“Once children are aware of the protocols of being safe, they are more understanding now of what is happening.”
With all the changes occurring, Vasau reminded the community to always be prepared no matter what.
“My main worry is that one of our staff members or students will contract the virus, making our school year more difficult,” he says.
“So be prepared, follow the measures and guidelines given for our safety and make sure parents – make the decision based on fact and for the safety of our children.”