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Aug 24, 2021

Get the Facts! Experts Talk Kids and COVID

On Monday night, Channel Five and the Ministry of Health and Wellness brought viewers another edition of “Get the Facts!”  This week, the focus was on kids and COVID.  The guests talked about the importance of vaccines for older children and teens, and how families can better protect little ones even if there is no vaccine for them yet.  But they also pointed out that while children were rarely infected early on in the pandemic, the delta variant has changed that calculation. While most children who get COVID are asymptomatic, they can carry the virus to others. There are also some signs parents need to be aware of so they can determine if a paediatric COVID case has crossed over into the danger zone requiring hospitalization.


Cecilio Eck

Dr. Cecilio Eck, Pediatrician, K.H.M.H.

“I usually compare them to the aedes egypti mosquito and dengue. The dengue virus does not affect the mosquito at all. That mosquito is the vector. Children in this pandemic are vectors. They get sick, they visit their older relatives, grandparents, uncles and aunts, they get sick and end up in hospital. Most of the time when they get ill, they are asymptomatic, but I could tell you since this surge has hit Belize very hard now,  the Delta variant, my phone has been ringing off the hook with parents who are sick, with children and they want to know what to do with the symptoms. A little cough, runny nose, a kid with a cough and a low grade fever, what should I do? And I run through it with them one by one. Then I give them the danger signs: severe shortness of breath, severe lethargy, they become cough, cough and can’t catch their breath, those are the times to come to the hospital.”


Natalia Beer

Dr. Natalia Beer, Maternal and Child Health, MOHW

“The majority of the vaccines are for adults, the kids are not protected. But with the Pfizer vaccine now we can reach the group from twelve to seventeen, and that that would leave us just with the younger kids. But then there will be more protection at the home with these kids, with all persons who are eligible for vaccine receiving the vaccine.  We also have to consider that kids, right now, twelve to seventeen they only have one option. Out of the ten, twelve vaccines, that are already approved, there is only one available for them and the rest, adults have a myriad of vaccines that they can choose from.”



Dian Meheia

Dian Meheia, C.E.O., Ministry of Education

“We believe that the combination of having students be vaccinated along with having the teachers be vaccinated, the parents at home, and then of course having everyone continue to follow the protocols that we know can work, that these are going to be the mitigating factors that will make it safe for us to return to the schools, hopefully very soon.”

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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