Posted: Friday, June 25, 2021. 10:49 am CST.
By Zoila Palma: On Thursday, the U.S. Embassy facilitated the delivery of an energy-efficient, ultralow temperature (ULT) freezer for the storage of COVID-19 vaccines to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
The ULT was donated by the U.S. Government through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A handover ceremony was held at the National Vaccine Building in Belmopan.
In attendance were Minister of Health and Wellness, Michel Chebat, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Keith Gilges, and Ministry of Health and Wellness CEO Dr. Deysi Mendez.
The ULT freezer, valued at $13,000 USD, can reach temperatures as low as negative 86 degrees Celsius and store more than 9,000 multidose vials of COVID vaccines.
“The addition of the ULT freezer will create new options for the Government of Belize to procure and store any available COVID-19 vaccine requiring ultracold storage conditions,” the ministry noted.
This includes the Pfizer vaccine, currently the only vaccine authorized to vaccinate children from ages 12 to 18.
The ministry said that this will create the capacity to vaccinate children ages 12 to 18 and is particularly critical for Belize, where approximately 42% of the population is under the age of 18.
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