HPA urges vaccination of kids as Covid cases surge

A health worker administers Covid-19 vaccine to a child. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Health Protection Agency (HPA) urged parents to get their children vaccinated Friday, following a surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalization of patients, including children.

Maldives has recently seen a surge in Covid-19 cases, with 84 new cases reported last week. 17 patients were hospitalized. It marks the biggest spike in cases since November 2022.

Dr. Ahmed Faisal, a pediatrician at Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), told Sun there are three children hospitalized with Covid-19; a one-year-old, and two two-month-olds.

Faisal said the hospital has seen a spike in hospitalization of children with Covid-19 over the last two weeks, with many of the children developing seizures and pneumonia.

In a video posted by HPA Friday, Faisal stressed that vaccines offer significant protection, and help reduce deaths and severe illness.

“Covid-19 is still a serious concern. We still see children suffering from Covid-19 having to be admitted at times. Some of them suffer from fits, as well as pneumonia because of Covid-19,” he said. “In order to protect them, our advice is that all children aged 5 years and above get the Covid-19 vaccine. This will reduce Covid-19 among children and help reduce the spread of Covid-19 within the community.”

The opening hours of Covid-19 vaccine centers in the greater Male’ area:

  • Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH): 08:00 am to 10:00 am on Sundays
  • Hulhumale’ Hospital: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on Sundays, and 09:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Wednesdays
  • Dhamanaveshi: 12:30 pm to 01:30 pm from Sunday to Thursday, and 09:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Sundays and Tuesdays

Maldives expanded its vaccination campaign to include children above the age of five years last February.