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Aug 23, 2021

COVID Teen Vaccination Underway

As part of the new back-to-school readiness, this morning as early as seven-thirty, high school and sixth form students from across the country went out to respective vaccination centers. They were getting their first jab of the Pfizer vaccine, which has been approved for young people, ages twelve to seventeen. News Five’s Duane Moody headed to the stations in Belize City and filed this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

In Belize City, two vaccination stations have been put in place to administer the Pfizer shots to children twelve and up. And today, primarily high school and sixth form students, in the company of their parents came out in scores to get their first jab; the second will be in the next three weeks. Iraida Ramos and her two sons travelled all the way from San Estevan Village to the city. Reynar and Azir are students at SJC and got their jabs.


Reynar Ramos

Reynar Ramos, Student, SJC

“It wasn’t much. I mi di expect it fi hurt more. For example, when dehn take out blood, ih hurt more than this. I mi expect it fi hurt like that. But it neva hurt as much as I mi expect.”


Duane Moody

You wanted to get vaccinated? There are some people who noh want get vaccinated. Did you want to?”


Reynar Ramos

“Honestly yeah. Get it over with one time.”


Duane Moody

“You just get yo shot; how was the experience for you?”


Azir Ramos

Azir Ramos, Student, SJC

“Usual. Yo get pinch with a needle.”


Duane Moody

“Did you want to get vaccinated?”


Azir Ramos

“Not really.”


Duane Moody

“Why not?”


Azir Ramos

“…I mi lazy.”


Iraida Ramos

Electronic consent forms were issued to parents, with assistance from the Ministry of Education, while others signed up when they arrived at the vaccination stations today. For most parents, they readily consented to the vaccine because it is not only an added layer of protection, but it also helps with their children’s transition back into the classroom setting.


Iraida Ramos, Mother Azir & Reynar

“It’s a requirement for them to go back into the classroom. I have seen the transition that they went through and it wasn’t a nice one. I saw that they were falling back in school. So if this allows them to go back, then I believe it is going to be better on them academically.”


Maria Villanueva

Maria Villanueva, Belize City Resident

“I came out to bring two of my grandsons to get vaccinated because I really need them back in face-to-face. They are not good with online classes and we need face-to-face and I want another layer of protection besides social distancing and the mask. I need that vaccination for them. We prayed about it and we decided that we have peace that they would be vaccinated.  I have no concerns because my husband and I, we took it. And I had a little fever and thing, but no major side effects. It hasn’t affected us in anyway. And we feel better protected because I am what you call a high risk – diabetic and high blood pressure. I have to live a healthy lifestyle, so yes, I feel more protected and I want them more protected because we have one that cannot take it until December and she’ll be twelve and we want to protect her because she will be the only one not vaccinated in the house.”


The children were split between the Saint John’s College gymnasium and Swift Hall. The process was smooth, even for those over at the Swift Hall, where a separate queue was made for residents who were out to get their jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine.


Melissa Diaz-Musa

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Deputy Regional Health Manager, Central Health Region

“Because of the number of high schools, we have decided that we will open two big auditoriums so we have SJC gym and Swift Hall and we try to split up the schools; four schools for day and we are trying to look at the ages just so we deal with the crowd in an efficient and effective manner. When we look at the team that we have here and we have at least three or four nurses vaccinating, we can definitely vaccinate six to seven hundred children in one day. So Saturday was a good run for us; it actually helped us to calculate what we would need in order for these auditoriums to run efficiently and to ensure the social distancing and ensure that everybody is safe. So we are asking, we are appealing to parents to please take this opportunity, please bring your children in. We are also open for out-of-school children, between twelve and seventeen years old for them to kindly come in as soon as possible; we are not turning anyone away.”


There are approximately eight thousand high school students in the Belize District and so a schedule to allow the smooth processing of this young population ages twelve to seventeen has been created. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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