By Aaron Humes: Some 73 thousand children countrywide ages five to 11 will be targeted for vaccination against COVID-19 in the next month, the Ministry of Health and Wellness reports.
Parents will have to consent and be informed before the vaccines are administered, but ideally, every child should be vaccinated in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
There was a similar spike in cases among youngsters as in adults during the various phases of the COVID-19 pandemic here, and they are just as likely to spread the virus.
The formulation used is more concentrated than the adult formulation (i.e. 12 years and older), although children who turn 12 after the first dose of the pediatric formulation may receive the adult formulation for their second dose.
Reactions are similar to those in adults – pain, redness and swelling of the jabbed area, and tiredness and nausea. More severe reactions may delay further doses.
The Ministry expects to vaccinate as many children as possible in the last month of school and would then visit them at home for the second dose or bring them back to school. Cooperation is being provided by the Ministry of Education.
The vaccine is 91 percent effective and vaccinations are expected to begin as early as Friday, with the formal start due Monday.
The Ministry hopes that Belizeans appreciate the need for children to be able to run around and enjoy themselves without having to fear COVID.