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Ministry of Health prods Belizeans to get next COVID-19 booster

Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2022. 8:30 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: On Thursday evening the Ministry of Health announced that “beyond the end of May 2022, the Pfizer vaccine will no longer be available until further notice; only the Janssen [Johnson and Johnson] vaccine will be available at the vaccination sites.”

This, among other reasons, is why Belizeans who are fully vaccinated are being encouraged to take another booster dose of the vaccine if they have received one already within four months.

Especially encouraged are health care workers, persons 60 years and older, and persons with chronic illnesses to visit their nearest vaccination site. It also cites students above 12 years of age as the education sector has targeted full face-to-face learning for the new school year in August.

As the Ministry reminds us, “SARS-COV-2 or COVID-19 infections continue to be a public health concern around the world.” Some areas are grappling with a new sub-variant, BA.2, of the faster-spreading Omicron variant that hit the world at the end of 2021 coming into 2022.

The Ministry states, “The rate of infections and hospitalizations due to severe illness is dependent on the circulation of the variants of the virus. Boosters have been shown to increase the immune response to COVID-19 with data showing that fewer infections, hospitalizations and deaths are seen among vaccinated persons compared to those who are unvaccinated.”

A high percentage of vaccinated persons, frequent hand washing and physical distancing are preventive measures that will keep us safer from COVID-19, it concludes.

As of today, Thursday, Belize has 137 active cases after an increase reported over the last 24 hours. More than half of Belizeans have now had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; however, the percentage that is fully vaccinated continues to lag behind.

 

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