Monday, July 15, 2024

Front-line workers to be the first to receive COVID-19 vaccine next week

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The 1,000 Oxford/AztraZeneca vaccines donated by Barbados arrived in Belize on Wednesday, February 24th and according to the Ministry of Health and Wellness they will be given to front-line workers at COVID-19 units across the country starting Monday, March 1st. It is yet to be confirmed if any of the vaccines will be administered to personnel in Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye, who have been very active in the battle against the virus.

Maternal and Child Health Technical Advisor for MOHW, Dr. Natalia Beer said 500 out of the 5,000 front-line workers will receive the jab. “We don’t have enough for all, so we will start with those working in the COVID-19 units, the flu clinics and those who come in contact with patients every day that may have the disease,” said Beer. She explained that the 1,000 doses represent 500 persons receiving the first and second vaccination.

The shipment of vaccines, which is not part of the over 100,000 to be obtained later next month from the COVAX facility, within the World Health Organization, arrived at 7AM on an Amerijet cargo flight. The vaccines were received by former Acting Director of Health Services, Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa as MOHW’s Minister the Honourable Michel Chebat could not be present. He was attending to his father’s funeral.

The AstraZeneca vaccines are recommended for persons 18 years and older, leaving the younger Belizean population without the opportunity to be vaccinated. MOHW hopes throughout the coming months to have other options with vaccines that can cover lower age groups. One of those options is Pfizer, which reportedly can be given to persons 16 years and older.

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