PAHO rep says vaccines will continue to help Belize
The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has long advocated for vaccines in Belize. Since officially setting up shop in September 1982, PAHO has urged people to get their shots to immunize themselves against conditions such as measles, mumps, rubella and diphtheria. In our conversation with PAHO/WHO Representative Dr. Noreen Jack, she anticipates that Belize will still need to rely on such immunization efforts.
Dr.Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative: “Let’s talk about vaccines all respects not just COVID vaccines, the childhood vaccines. People are forgetting where we came from. Polio caused many people to be paralyzed, to live in iron lungs and people have forgotten that and so have stopped taking and giving their children the vaccines. The same with Measles. As a young doctor I saw a lot of children in pediatric wards with Measles, with their rash and being sick and being ill people have forgotten these things but we cannot forget them because they can’t return and so to prevent them from returning we have to ensure that the vaccination coverage is high like 95% of children must receive their vaccines. So we need to continue with that effort in Belize but throughout the region of the Americas and really throughout the world.”
In addition to childhood diseases, Belize has also made available the jab against COVID-19. Just under 51% of the entire population is fully immunized. Dr. Noreen Jack spoke on the significance of that.
Dr.Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative: “In terms of COVID vaccines you’ve said that we are post COVID and I hesitate to put it to agree with you but we have moved forward in COVID and why ? Because of the vaccination. So we do not have people dying, we have less hospitalizations and that is a reflection of the amount of persons who have been vaccinated and its contribution to reducing the severity of the condition.”