US Healthcare Professionals Volunteer at SP COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

Thursday, July 29th, 2021

It’s not every day you find yourself unexpectedly volunteering at a medical clinic while on vacation. Still, for two healthcare professionals, the call of duty over suntan found them assisting at the Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOHW) Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the Lions Den this week.

(L-R) Dr. Jorge Alvarez, CNO Negar Saidi-Johnson, Health Inspector Christina Sanchez, and volunteer Karen Brodie.

While on holiday with their families on Ambergris Caye, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Negar Saidi-Johnson and Cardiologist Dr. Jorge Alvarez, both who work at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, USA, learned about the vaccination clinic in San Pedro while meeting Karen Brodie, National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) member, and vaccination clinic volunteer. Together they discussed the trials and tribulations of battling COVID-19, with Saidi-Johnson saying that at one point, she oversaw as many as six COVID-19 emergency units within her hospital. Eager to help and learn more about how San Pedro is rolling out vaccines and battling the worldwide pandemic, they offered to come and volunteer at the clinic for a day.

On Tuesday, July 27th, they assisted at the vaccination clinic where Dr. Alvarez helped fill in vaccination cards, hand out post-vaccine meds and observe the vaccinated for immediate side effects. The cardiologist joked, “It was very challenging for me to keep [my writing] legible!” CNO Saidi-Johnson primarily helped with data entry, later exclaiming, “Thank you for letting us do this. It was very humbling!” During the three hours they were there, 121 individuals were vaccinated.

CNO Negar Saidi-Johnson and cardiologist Dr. Jorge Alvarez

As of July 28th, 124,932 persons in Belize have received their first dose, with 48,141 persons now fully vaccinated. The clinic continues at the San Pedro Lions Den on Barrier Reef Drive Monday to Thursday from 1PM to 3:30PM and on Friday from 8:30AM to 2PM.

We thank these volunteers who generously spared some of their vacation time to assist our island community. We hope you enjoyed your visit to La Isla Bonita!


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