Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2021. 7:59 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma: On May 12, Belize received 33,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between the Government of Belize, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF.
The COVAX facility aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
The shipment signals another milestone in a historic effort to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness says that as Belize continues to call out for persons in phase one, two, and three of the national deployment plan, the arrival of the vaccines are a timely replenishment as current stock in-country approach their expiration in date.
Michel Chebat, Minister of Health & Wellness, was pleased about the arrival and recognizes the effort of each of the 48,515 persons vaccinated up to May 10, 2021.
He noted, “By getting vaccinated we are all contributing to contain the negative outcomes associated with COVID-19. This shipment has arrived two days before administering the last doses of the current stock.”
“The arrival of this new shipment of vaccines is reassuring because this means that those who have received their first doses can now receive their second dose without delays,” said Dr. Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative of Belize. “Additionally, using a platform like COVAX ensures fair and equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccinations for countries like Belize to keep their population protected against Sars-CoV-2.”
UNICEF representative for Belize, Alison Parker said that the current situation underscores why we cannot grow lax in our approach to fighting this pandemic.
“We must remain vigilant and continue the important task of protection and prevention – vaccinating our population to increase immunity and protect the vulnerable among us as grandmothers, parents, and teachers are crucial to the safety, wellbeing, and protection of children,” Parker said.
The Ministry continues to encourage the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
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