Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, Health » Pediatric Vaccination for Children Ages 5-11 Underway Countrywide
May 31, 2022

Pediatric Vaccination for Children Ages 5-11 Underway Countrywide

A national campaign by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as well as the Ministry of Education, to vaccinate as many children between five and eleven years old is underway. The effort coincides with a recent delivery of over a hundred thousand Pfizer doses. Personnel have been assigned to various districts and teams are hitting the ground running in an effort to cover as much ground as possible ahead of the new school year. The push is to ensure that children returning to their classrooms in September are protected against COVID-19. Tonight, we begin our coverage with a report from News Five’s Isani Cayetano.


Since the rollout of Pfizer vaccines for children ages five to eleven began on May thirtieth, primary schools across the country have been given a schedule.  Each school has been assigned a date when personnel from the Ministry of Health and Wellness will be visiting to the administer COVID jabs to their student population.


Majiba Sharp

Majiba Sharp, Principal, Belize Elementary School

“Our parents were sent all the information that the ministry had shared with us, we were given a date and time which was today and we got about a hundred and twenty-five responses saying yes, that they do consent to the vaccine.”


In Belize City this morning, Hummingbird Elementary, St. Joseph R.C. School and Belize Elementary School were vaccination sites for students within the previously mentioned category to get inoculated.  Tina Pou has a nine-year-old son attending St. Joseph.  She was on hand when he received his first shot after giving consent.


Tina Pou

Tina Pou, Parent

“I told him yes because all of us got ours so, it’s our right to get it.”


Isani Cayetano

“What was the process like for him this morning here at St. Joseph?”


Tina Pou

“He took it like nothing. He said it was just a little pinch.”


For this mother of two, granting permission for her son to get vaccinated was fairly straightforward.  He is a Standard Two student and, despite another wave of COVID-19 infections, face-to-face instructions have become necessary.


Tina Pou

“I decided to do it because the children need to go back in classes.”


At Hummingbird Elementary School, Principal Jamona Vasquez is leading an in-house awareness campaign to sensitize parents and students about the need for vaccination.  Following a meeting with health and education officials, it was agreed that the school would be used as one of three locations today.


Jamona Vasquez

Jamona Vasquez, Principal, Hummingbird Elementary School

“It was suggested that it’s best that we open schools up for sites also, because for some parents, escorting their children to take vaccines can be a challenge because they have to go to work and there are lots of other challenges, so schools being sort of a hub also assist.  So that is what we are encouraging all parents to, you know, make that decision, check with their doctors, get the information and we are encouraging them to get their children vaccinated also.”


It’s the kind of support that has seen a majority of the older students at BES receive both doses.  For the younger population, there are three hundred and ninety-six students altogether who are eligible for the shot.  A little under fifty percent have received their first dose thus far.


Majiba Sharp

“That would be a little less than half, but we also have some students that were already vaccinated, whether their parents took them abroad, made other arrangements.  So I would say, maybe now, we have about half between ages five and eleven.”


Isani Cayetano

“What does this mean for you guys here at Belize Elementary School?  I gather that perhaps the older population of students, for the most part, are vaccinated but to have this particular age range joining them means a lot in terms of the safety and security, health-wise, of these students.”


Majiba Sharp

“Yes, our students in our upper classes who are twelve and above, we have about eighty percent of them who are fully vaccinated and now we have, I would say, about fifty percent.  So it is for us, that is a great way to start.  I am hoping that more parents will consent to getting their child vaccinated, for their protection and the protection of all us here at school.”


The overall success of the combined effort by the ministries of Education and Health and Wellness, however, depends on parents understanding the need for their children to be immunized against this virulent illness.


Jamona Vasquez

“So far, I think parents seem to be giving us positive feedback; however, the challenge for school vaccination was that they wanted to be here but it was hard for us to accommodate parents and students together in this compound, being [that] it’s a small compound and also to follow all the COVID safety protocols.”


Isani Cayetano 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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed