WACO, Texas –The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has received confirmation on the first pediatric death attributed to COVID-19.
The patient was an 11-year-old boy, and a resident of McLennan County. He died at a hospital outside of McLennan County late Friday afternoon.
Waco Mayor Dillon Meek said, “My heart breaks for all of those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 over the past 18 months. And on behalf of the city, my family and I send our condolences and prayers for peace, comfort, courage and love to the friends and family of this child. This tragedy serves as a sobering reminder that we must all continue to do what we can to protect the vulnerable from the spread of COVID-19. I continue to urge all eligible community members who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine to talk to their healthcare provider and make a plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you are concerned about the vaccine, I implore you to consult with your doctor – just like you would on all other health-related matters – to thoroughly discuss and address those concerns. If you ultimately choose not to get vaccinated, I ask you to recognize how contagious this virus is in causing unvaccinated patients of all ages to develop serious, serious illness and take the appropriate steps at this time to alter your behaviors.”
The Delta variant is a highly aggressive form of the Coronavirus which can cause serious complications. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to protect against severe outcomes due to COVID-19 for all who are eligible.
The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District said it continues to focus and promote the importance of vaccinations, masks, and social distancing.
“Unfortunately, our community remains very vulnerable to the Delta variant of Coronavirus that is plaguing us now. Our main hope to minimize the number of tragedies like this is in getting more people who are currently eligible to go ahead and get vaccinated and expand those efforts to children once vaccines for those age groups are available, hopefully soon,“ said Farley Verner, MD, Health Authority for the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.
The Public Health District asked the community to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers, and to respect their privacy.
Source: City of Waco
(KTSM contributed to this report.)