Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2021. 5:41 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: The Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOHW) announced today that Belizeans now have the option of choosing either the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or the SINOPHARM BBIP COVID-19 vaccine, which became officially available today.
The World Health Organization (WHO) approved the SINOPHARM vaccines for emergency use on May 7, 2021, and the MOHW said that it is now prepared to offer it as an option at vaccine centers countrywide for persons who fall under Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the national vaccine rollout plan.
Maternal and Child Health Advisor for the MOWH, Dr. Natalia Beer, explained that the Government of Belize received 10,000 doses of the SINOPHARM vaccine from the United Arab Emirates. Beer notes that the Ministry is recommending that those who have received their first vaccine shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine receive their second shot of the same, as global studies about mixing vaccines are still ongoing and the results are unknown.
The SINOPHARM vaccine has a three-dose regiment with a 79 percent efficacy two weeks after the final dose. It is also stored under the same conditions as the AstraZeneca vaccine. It is currently in use in 42 countries globally, including in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region.
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