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Minister of Health announces procurement of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca, Africa, Russia

Posted: Friday, February 5, 2021. 1:58 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Minister of Health and Wellness, Michel Chebat, has announced that Belize will obtain up to 200 thousand vaccines in the course of the first quarter of this year to fight COVID-19.

100,800 vaccines from AstraZeneca will be obtained through the COVAX vaccine facility to which Belize signed up last year, as confirmed at the end of January. The World Health Organization (WHO) is to approve emergency use listing of the vaccine in the near future.

Another 81,697 vaccines will be obtained through the African Medical Supplies Platform, in an offer made to CARICOM countries through the CARICOM secretariat. And through the Ambassador of Panama to Belize, Her Excellency Marta Boza, Belize will be accepting 20,000 vaccine doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine which has 92 percent coverage and was among the first vaccines to be created.

The Minister announced that as in other countries, health workers will be vaccinated first, followed by elderly persons and those with risk factors for COVID-19. The vaccination roadmap created by the Ministry will be publicly released.

In related news, the Minister hailed the progress Belize has made in reducing active cases (an average of 3,000 in November to on average 1,000 in January) through removing the taboo around wearing masks and physical distancing, but reminded that there is still more work to be done. He reiterated that the Ministry intends to test persons in close-contact industries to catch more cases of COVID-19.


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