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Vaccinations slow down even as boosters are now being given to all 18 and over

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Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021. 1:42 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Vaccinations have slowed down countrywide even but not because of lack of vaccines and despite the overt drive by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) encouraging everyone to get vaccinated even opening the door to boosters for persons 18 and over.

This is happening as countries around Belize are struggling to get vaccines. Belizeans must admit that we are far ahead of many countries where millions of people have not even received the first dose because of unavailability.

So far, we are at 208,621 of COVID-19 vaccine doses applied countrywide or close to the 50% and 192,296 vaccinated with two doses, about 45%. But lately, persons have been trickling into the health centers and vaccinating sites the MOHW is facilitating for the vaccination campaign.

As it stands the MOHW is now adding a third dose, a booster shot. Even though the MOHW has not made a formal announcement regarding boosters for all persons 18 and over, through its social media flyers promoting the COVID-19 vaccine campaign it has been advertising the boosters for all persons 18 and over. At first, the MOHW said the boosters were for front-line workers, people with comorbidities and people over sixty. But with the slow vaccination, the MOHW cannot allow their vaccines to expire and go to waste. So, might as well open the boosters for everyone over 18.

The Toledo District Health Services (TDHS) even outlines how the vaccines are given. The TDHS said it’s applying the two doses of AstraZeneca at 8 weeks interval, Pfizer-BioNTech at 21 days interval, and Sinopharm at 25 days interval. Janssen is a single dose.

Boosters are also available as well said the TDHS in the following manner. For AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Sinopharm, the booster is administered five months after the second dose, and for Janssen, two months after the first dose. Those who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Janssen, and Sinopahrm can opt for a booster of the same vaccine or for a Pfizer. Those vaccinated with Pfizer, get a Pfizer booster.

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