ZB

8609 new Covid cases, 20 deaths as third jab approved for immune-compromised kids

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 5 May 2022, 1:09pm
(Photo / Mike Scott)
(Photo / Mike Scott)

8609 new Covid cases, 20 deaths as third jab approved for immune-compromised kids

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 5 May 2022, 1:09pm

There are 8609 cases of Covid-19 in the community today and 20 deaths.

Children who are severely immune compromised are now able to get a third primary dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

Today's announcement comes as the Ministry of Health is set to release the latest Covid-19 cases at 1pm.

This morning the ministry announced primary aged school children aged 5 to 11 would be in line for a third shot after it was recommended by the Covid-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group.

The ministry said people who were severely immunocompromised were at higher risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19 and might not produce a sufficiently strong immune response after two doses of the vaccine.

"A third primary dose offers extra protection and may help reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to others," said the ministry.

Because there were specific criteria for children to qualify for a third primary dose, it was recommended that parents or guardians scheduled an appointment with their healthcare professional to confirm eligibility.

"A prescription must also be provided by a GP or nurse practitioner before severely immunocompromised children can be given a third primary dose – with prescriptions able to be taken to any vaccination site," said the ministry.

The third primary dose was to be given eight weeks after the second dose but may be given at a four-week interval depending on immunosuppressive therapies.

A third primary dose was also being offered to severely immunocompromised children in this age group overseas, including in Australia, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The ministry said it was strongly encouraged that all household contacts of someone who was severely immunocompromised were up to date with their recommended Covid vaccines to help provide indirect protection.

Meanwhile, Covid cases continue to infect communities across New Zealand.

Yesterday, there were 8454 new cases of Covid-19 in the community and 24 people who had died with the virus.

The deaths included 12 people who died since March 5 and a child under 10 and another between 10 and 19 years.

There were 481 people in hospital, with 14 people in ICU or HDU.

Health officials urged people to remain vigilant as community transmission of Omicron continued.

"With ongoing community transmission across the motu, it is important we all remain vigilant. Please continue to follow public health advice to stay at home, away from school or work if you're feeling unwell."

From today, reporting of hospitalisation numbers in Northern region hospitals will include only active Covid-19 cases.

To date, reported case numbers in the Northern region have included people who have recovered from Covid-19 but remain in hospital.

The reporting of hospitalisations in other district health boards will remain unchanged as these already only include active cases.

The ministry said the change is part of ensuring consistent reporting of data.