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Sep 14, 2021

Hundreds of Children Come Out for Second Dose of Pfizer

As Belize continues to battle through its third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recommendation is for as many persons to get vaccinated by any of the four available vaccines in the country. Johnson and Johnson, Sinopharm, Oxford AstraZeneca and Pfizer – they have all been acquired by G.O.B., which is aiming for seventy percent of the population to be vaccinated. Today marks the second day for which children twelve years and older returned to vaccination centers for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

There were snaking lines at the Saint John’s College Gymnasium in Belize City as students, some in the company of their parents, came out to get their second jab of the Pfizer vaccine so that they can transition safely back into the classrooms come October.


Sabrina Richards, Student, SJCJC

“Seeing as though the cases are rising and stakes are really high to catch COVID and the amount of deaths being announced, I think it is very important that we get vaccinated and stay safe.”


Sabrina Richards

Duane Moody

“Was there any hesitation on you guys’ part to get vaccinated?”


Sabrina Richards

“Yeah. A huge hesitation at first because you know there is a lot of uncertainty and things you don’t know about the vaccine, but it is better to stay on the safe side and get vaccinated.”


Matthew Williams

Matthew Williams, Student

“I feel like hesitation yes, because we didn’t really know anything about it, it wasn’t very safe and then there were rumours about it being an unholy thing, so then I had hesitation. But then I just got it.”


Sabrina Richards

“I think we’ve been away from school for quite some time and it is a bit challenging to learn online so there’s a lot of challenges and I think face-to-face learning is best.”


Aurayanna Shepherd

Aurayanna Shepherd, Student

“The vaccine is a crucial part when it comes to this pandemic because people are tired of being home and especially me, I can’t pay attention in my classroom anymore. I am burnt out; the teacher’s saying something and I’m drawing. I’m not paying attention to her at all.  So I think it is crucial for me to get my vaccine so that I can get back in class October fourth.”


There are over eight thousand students ages twelve to seventeen in Belize District. But there are thousands more within that age range that can also access vaccination centers to receive that additional layer of protection against the deadly virus, which has, to date, claimed over three hundred and seventy lives. Doctor Melissa Diaz-Musa says that over the past two days, the youth have been coming out to get their jabs.


Melissa Diaz-Musa

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

“Yesterday we started to give the second dose because it is twenty-one dose since they received their first shot of Pfizer. It was a great success and so is today; we are very happy to see the amount of children come out. And yesterday, we also were able to do almost three hundred first dose of Pfizer so other kids are also coming out. So far, we have had a very, very good turnout.”


Jamie Usher

Jamie Usher, Principal, Belize High School

“We were totally excited for the reopening of school so when the Ministry of Health and Wellness asked us to participate in the vaccine drive for Pfizer we got our community together and they came out in full force on August twenty-fourth to be able to receive their first shot and they came out in such a good number that we were totally blown away when our statistics revealed that we were about ninety-two percent vaccinated. So today is our second shot, our teachers are supporting it by the live sessions happening online so they are being flexible with their attendance just to allow for the wait and any side effects that happen today and tomorrow.”


While there are a number of schools on the north side that have had a large student turnout for vaccinations, there are many that have still not been vaccinated.


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa

“We have done approximately five thousand of these kids. We definitely need more children to come out. Whether you are in school, whether you are out of school, once you’re between the ages of twelve and seventeen, you can come in to get the Pfizer vaccine. We also don’t turn away anyone else outside of that age so if you want, you can also access the Pfizer vaccine here. We are also at Swift Hall, Matron Roberts, Ladyville Health Center, San Pedro and Caye Caulker and of course, countrywide, this rollout has occurred.”


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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