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Jun 2, 2022

Positive Response to New Children’s Vaccine Reported at St Joseph’s RC in Cotton Tree

Since the launch of the new vaccine for children ages five to eleven on Monday, there has been no report of any child having adverse reactions. In fact, from all indications so far, the vaccine has been widely welcomed. Over at Saint Joseph’s R.C. Primary School in Cotton Tree Village, the situation is no different, with an expectation of a high turnout percentage, as News Five’s Marion Ali found out. Here’s her report.


Kenrick Francisco, Teacher, St. Joseph R.C., Cotton Tree Village

“A lot of parents were here early to ensure that their child gets vaccinated.”


Marion Ali, Reporting

The vaccination of Belize’s youngest citizens, children ages five to eleven, has so far been well received and today, on the third day, when we visited St Joseph’s R.C. Primary School in Cotton Tree Village, parents of one hundred and fifty of those children who fall within that category have also supported the vaccination drive overwhelmingly.


Kenrick Francisco

Kenrick Francisco

“The parents have been very supportive and receptive to taking the vaccine now, because when we had the first stage they were a bit hesitant because of the knowledge about the vaccine and whether they should take it or not. But now with information being sent out, we sent out information in Spanish and English because we have immigrants among us, for them to get that information and be informed to make that right decision.”


Present to assist with the process was Dr. Ninfa Ken, an internist with the Ministry of Health, who is working with the COVID-19 vaccination program. She says that parents’ response to the vaccine in the Cayo District has been positive.


Dr. Ninfa Ken

Dr. Ninfa Ken, Internist, Ministry of Health

“Parents come with the kids and they get their vaccine and then we observe them for a period of time, and so far we have had no kind of adverse reactions.”


Parents from two separate households, Deadra Requena and Hugo Barcenas had different reasons why they were initially reluctant to have their children vaccinated. But today, both parents decided to let their boys receive the first dose.


Deadra Requena, Arlen’s Mom

“I did feel that it was important for him to get it, especially since he is doing face-to-face schooling again, compared to when he was just at home, it was okay. It’s for his safety and safety for his siblings that he does take the vaccine here at school.”


Marion Ali

“I see that it took a little bit out of him to get the shot.”


Deadra Requena

Deadra Requena

“Yes, it did. He doesn’t like injections but he still remained strong, took his shot.”


Hugo Barcenas

Hugo Barcenas, Ezekiel’s Dad

“This is a very difficult decision for me and for me and for my wife because he is a special needs child and he has difficulty with the heart. So, eventually he –we had to take a while to decide to let him take this vaccine because of his illness.”


Marion Ali

“Yes, why I say yes, because of – I don’t want to lose him, and I know that with his problems and – you know, this disease is a killer so I take that decision to mek he take this vaccine.”


For kids like little Arlen who have a natural fear of needles, Dr Ken says that having parents present helps, but when that isn’t possible, the nurses on hand have to apply their skills.


Dr. Ninfa Ken

“Children who are afraid of needles, you know you’ll have a response like they’ll cry, get a little agitated.”


Marion Ali

“So what should parents do, talk to them?”


Dr. Ninfa Ken

“Yes, they should talk to their kids, and well their presence means a lot when they come to get the vaccine here.”


Marion Ali

“And do you as medical experts and practitioners also do that for the children? Do you talk them through it?”


Dr. Ninfa Ken

“Yes, especially when they have a lot of problems taking the vaccine, the nurses are trained, you know, they comfort them, explain to them.”


But for parents of children who are still hesitant to have their children vaccinated, teacher Francisco says the school just has to continuously promote optimal hygiene practices.


Kenrick Francisco

“We don’t discriminate, per see, but we encourage and we ensure that the students wear their masks to school; they sanitize every time they exit the classroom. When they come back they need to sanitize. So we’re still following the protocols.”


Marion Ali 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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