The communist nation of Cuba has become the first country in the world to begin administering Covid-19 vaccines to toddlers.
The island, which has a population of 11.2 million people, expanded its mass vaccination campaign on Friday, September 3rd to include toddlers amidst a reported ‘devastating’ Covid outbreak.
Last Friday, children aged 12 and older were given Covid-19 vaccines. Then, on Monday it began administering the jabs to children between the ages of two and 11.
The mass vaccination campaign, which is targeting toddlers and children younger than 12, began in the central province of Cienfuegos – a city with a population of more than 400,000 people.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, almost all schools in Cuba have been closed. Whilst they did reopen for a few weeks at the end of 2020, they soon closed again in January of this year.
The current school year in Cuba began on Monday. Due to strict government controls and a lack of universal access to the internet, students have been learning through programmes on the TV. Whilst this ‘remote’ style of learning is expected to continue for the next few months, it is essentially forcing children to undergo programming through communist propaganda being pushed by the government.
Health officials have stressed that the only way children get back into the classroom is through submitting to the vaccine.
Following this, the government have stated that if the mass vaccination campaign proceeds as planned and is successful, schools will be able to begin reopening gradually sometime in October after all children in Cuba have been jabbed.
Other countries have announced plans to provide Covid-19 vaccines to children under the age of 12. These countries include Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates and China. Chile on Monday followed by approving the use of the Sinovac vaccines for children between the ages of six and 12.