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Former UDP Minister: When will Belize get COVID-19 vaccines and how will the immunization program work?

Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2021. 1:47 pm CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Carlos Perdomo: Over the past weeks, as we keep reading about the development of the COVID-19 vaccine by numerous pharmaceutical companies around the world, and about how countries, both large and small, are trying to procure the best vaccine for their populations…the general public in Belize is beginning to ask some serious questions out of genuine concern.

The questions being asked are: When will Belize get their supply of the most effective COVID-19 vaccine? Why are we not being told by The Ministry of Health and Wellness about when we will be in possession of vaccines…which country will we procure from…USA, UK, China, Russia, India? Sadly, the Chinese and Russian vaccines seem to have the lowest rate of effectiveness.

But more sadly out of need, countries are beginning to purchase them or get them at discount rates in “Vaccine Diplomacy” schemes. So, for us in Belize, the information we receive from Government on the expected rate of effectiveness of the vaccines is super essential for our trust to be given to any immunization rollout!

And other questions are being asked. Will there be an action plan for a nation-wide COVID-19 immunization campaign? How will it be decided which Belizeans are priority for the start of the injection distribution program? Will the process for vaccination be equitable and fair across the nation? Will the distribution be free of political interference, especially since Government no longer utilizes a national oversite committee which included the social partners, the opposition and private sector.

In Belize, at present, no one has answers…except maybe the Ministry of Health and Wellness (We Hope). We are in an information limbo! But we desperately need more official information on the road ahead that will give hope to worried citizens and begin a gradual normalization of life in this long year’s battle with COVID-19. We need more information, because lack of information spawns conspiracy theories and serious doubts to the facts shared on this crucial matter. More openness to the public is needed immediately.

 

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