The Ministers of Health and Education met with different organizations to develop health measures for the 2022 school year

The Minister of Health of the Nation Carla Vizzotti and her peer of Education, Jaime Perczyk

A little over a month after the start of classes, the Nation’s Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, and her peer for Education, Jaime Perczyk, met today with representatives of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UNICEF, Argentine Society of Pediatrics (SAP) and the Ombudsman for Children and Adolescents with the objective of working together 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 children and adolescents.

Vizzotti stressed that this work table has been working together with the Ministry of Education for a long time and thanked the participation of all the institutions that joined to collaborate and provide their contributions. In addition, he pointed out that the objective is to continue working on three fundamental axes, such as pediatric vaccination against COVID-19, to accelerate it even more. “We have very important achievements to date.” And I add: “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 recommendations must also change”.

For his part, the Minister of Education highlighted the work of the National Ministry of Health regarding the vaccination of COVID-19 in the youngest and highlighted the cooperative work of both ministries and all agencies. “In order to protect the entire educational community, to have a restorative school year and so that this year we can begin to build another story, these summer weeks are going to be essential to ensure that the largest number of girls, boys and teachers are fully vaccinated. To make it We are going to work together with Health and with the 24 jurisdictions to start classes with full and safe presencePerczyk said.

Both officials emphasized that in only 13 weeks, COVID-19 vaccination in children between 3 and 11 years old reached 69.5% with the first dose and 46.3% with the complete schedule. They also noted that 85.7% of adolescents between 12 and 17 years old already have the first dose Y 67.5% with the complete scheme. Regarding teachers said that more than 90% have a complete initial scheme and they are already advancing in the application of the reinforcements.

The goal for the next seven weeks, before classes start, is continue working together with the provinces to accelerate the vaccination of COVID-19 and the schedule vaccines, incorporating new vaccination areas such as colonies and other spaces that allow reaching more people.

We have to celebrate the successful advance of vaccination against COVID-19 in Argentina. This is one of the few countries in the region that already today it has reached the goal defined by the WHO to have, by June 2022, a vaccination coverage of 70% of its population,” said the PAHO representative in Argentina, Eva Jane Llopis . 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”.

Strategies were addressed that seek to strengthen the vaccination of COVID-19 and the readjustment of health protocols for the start of classes
Strategies were addressed that seek to strengthen the vaccination of COVID-19 and the readjustment of health protocols for the start of classes

Pablo Moreno, president of the SAP, agreed with the intersectoral approach to the issues. “We have followed the policies of the Ministry of Health regarding COVID-19 vaccination, we also believe that the recovery of calendar vaccines is a priority. We adhere, we celebrate and we are happy that the Education authorities are here because we have worked for school presenceMoreno said.

For her part, Luisa Brumana, representative of UNICEF, He expressed the importance of taking advantage of the moment of returning to school to encourage the vaccination of boys and girls. The way is not mandatory, but using this opportunity to encourage all vaccines and avoid a return to communicable diseases. He also expressed his “willingness to continue to work on everything we can so kids can safely and continuously go back to school”.

On the importance of ensuring school presence, the ministers agreed that the start of the school year has to be restorative, especially in the context of what they have experienced. “The school is a space that we have to recover”, they expressed.

The defender of the rights of Children and Adolescents, Marisa Graham referred to the importance of working to recover calendar vaccines in addition to those of COVID-19 and indicated that “it is a good occasion to put on the table again the issue of the schedule of vaccinations for other diseases”. He also expressed his support for vaccination in schools because of the “gravity it has in the community.”

During the meeting a roadmap was established to advance in the readjustment of the protocols for the start of the school year and it was anticipated that once finished they will be analyzed by the Federal Health Council and the Federal Education Council with the aim of generating the necessary consensus for their updating.

"The school is a space that we have to recover", affirmed Vizzotti and Perczyk (EFE/FERNANDO BIZERRA)
“School is a space that we have to recover,” said Vizzotti and Perczyk (EFE/FERNANDO BIZERRA)

In addition, the meeting was attended by the Secretary for Access to Health, Sandra Tirado; 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.

On behalf of the 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. While UNICEF also brought its representatives: Julia Anciola and Natalia Calisti; and the Director of Applied Research of the Ombudsman for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, Vanesa Salgado.

It should be noted that the vaccination plan against COVID-19 in Argentina, in charge of the Ministry of Health of the Nation, began at the end of December 2020, with prioritized groups, such as essential personnel, and people with a higher risk of develop complications in case of being infected by the coronavirus, people over 60 years of age and those with risk factors. Later, groups of younger ages were summoned.

Vaccination in children began in the first half of October 2021. During the official launch, from Health they reported that “2,006,300 doses of vaccine were distributed to start this new stage of the strategic plan Sinopharm and there are 9 million doses in stock exclusively destined to guarantee pediatric vaccination”.


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