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Dr. Diaz Encourages Belizeans to get a Booster Shot for COVID-19

A significant amount of Belize City businesses continue to be affected by the increase of COVID-19 cases. Deputy Manager of the Central Health Region Dr. Melissa Diaz, says that dozens of businesses are reporting that the number of employees who have become infected has drastically increased. This is one of the reasons Dr. Diaz is encouraging persons to get their booster shots.

Dr. Melissa Diaz, Deputy Manager, Central Health Region:We need for persons to come in to get their booster. We know that especially for the earlier phases the vaccine campaign that started in March and April and May these persons are now more than ready for a booster and lots of studies are showing that the booster really helps up to 85% or more to reduce severity of disease and death with omicron so we’re encouraging persons to come out to get the booster dose and I’m sure that with regard to access you know we have many sites that are available in Belize city, in all the districts as well and we’re doing Street to Street,  we’re going to businesses, you can call any of the health facilities and we can assist with regards to getting you vaccinated. We are encouraging anybody 18 and over to come in for their booster. We do know that with the delta variant we do know that many persons under the age of 55 have died from respiratory complications from the delta variant. Remember when you’re testing positive now there’s no definitive way for us to say OK I’ve tested positive and that’s delta, the tests will only tell if you were positive or negative so it might not be omicron. Like I said the last results that came out show that all the genome sequencing continued to be delta but we’re waiting on the new report.”

Also encouraging the public to get booster shots is Doctor Fernando Cuellar. Especially with the entrance of the Omicron variant, Cuellar says that booster shots can significantly help one’s chances of successfully fighting the disease.

Dr.Fernando Cuellar, Internist: “You become more vulnerable to catch it again that’s why you need your booster and in certain countries like Chile already they’re already talking about a fourth injection because they’re following it. Every six months your numbers go down so you might have to get a little juice up again or a little booster again this is happening. People who are antivaxxers who are skeptical talk about all of these things saying “See you were fooling us. First you talk about one shot now we’re talking about two shot now we’re at booster then you talk about when this will be finished.” but that is the reality of things.”

Host: like the flu you have to take a shot every year.

Dr.Fernando Cuellar, Internist: That is the reality of things. This is a novel virus. We are learning as we’re going along. What do you want us to do? We can cross our hands and say well who dies dies OK? Not do anything what the hell will we invest in vaccines for? Do calculation 400,000 people in Belize maybe at 10% will die 40,000 people? Are we prepared for 4th a dozen people to die and Belize.