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Vaccine rollout: Vaccine is safe, says P.M. as he announces Johnson and Johnson buy

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Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2021. 8:00 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: From a promising start in March with up to 2,000 vaccinations per day, the national rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has dipped to five hundred per day at times.

Prime Minister John Briceño is awaiting a response from the national medical COVID-19 task force on recommendations for the continued rollout, but for now the message is the same: the COVID-19 vaccines are generally proven safe, and can save lives, and not just your own.

Briceño pointed out that when he caught COVID last year he was asymptomatic, but he isolated to ensure family members who were at risk stayed safe. He has since been vaccinated.

Some are showing hesitancy to take the vaccine for their own reasons, but his view is at the time the rollout began Belizeans were still afraid of the high numbers of cases, rising deaths and hospitalizations. As these have tapered off, a sort of national spirit of adventure has returned, causing Belizeans to become more careless again. But as the P.M. reminded – aided by the later announcement of a cluster of cases in Santa Cruz, Stann Creek – COVID-19 hasn’t gone anywhere, and it remains deadly to the entire population.

Belize currently has sufficient stock of Astra-Zeneca and Sinopharm vaccines, and has made a down payment for 200 thousand single-dose jabs of Johnson and Johnson vaccine made in Africa under an arrangement of CARICOM, while still awaiting the next COVAX facility delivery of Astra-Zeneca vaccines.

“If you don’t love yourself, love those around you. Love your mother, love your father, love your brothers and your sisters. If you love them, take the vaccination,” he concluded.

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