Sunday, April 21, 2024

More than 170K Belizeans to benefit from the Pfizer vaccine donated by the United States

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Belize now counts with 111,150 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to combat COVID-19. The acquisition of the vaccines came through a donation from the United States Government, which is providing Belize with a total of 345,150 doses. The first tranche was delivered to Belizean authorities on Wednesday, August 18th, after arriving via a FedEx express cargo flight at the Philip Goldson International Airport.

The donation, also facilitated via the Caribbean Public Health Agency and CARICOM, was handed over to the Minister of Health and Wellness (MOHW), the Honourable Michel Chebat, who was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration Ambassador Amalia Mai. Present to receive the vaccines was also US Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires, a.i. Leyla Moses-Ones.

Minister Chebat thanked US President Joe Biden for this donation. He highlighted that with new variants detected, Belize needs to intensify its efforts to overcome this health crisis. “The donation of these vaccines will help strengthen our strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chebat. “It will help us to save lives, to protect those who are more vulnerable, it will assist us in opening our economy fully and in returning to some semblance of normalcy,” Chebat noted that over 150,000 Belizeans had received their first jab of the vaccine, with more than 60,000 fully vaccinated. He pointed out that his ministry will continue the vaccination campaign to get more Belizeans vaccinated.

Chargé d’ Affaires, a.i. Leyla Moses-Ones said her government is proud to continue working alongside Belize. “The more than 345,000 Pfizer vaccines we began donating today will vaccinate 172,000 individuals, which will save Belizean lives,” said Moses-Ones. “The United States is honored to support all efforts to mitigate this terrible disease, and, since the beginning of the pandemic, has assisted Belize with $462,500 in direct assistance in its fight against COVID-19. This includes donations of protective equipment and supplies for medical personnel and a state-of-the-art, ultra-low temperature freezer for the storage of Pfizer vaccines.” Moses-Ones noted the funding of projects to reduce the risk and impact of COVID-19 in vulnerable populations and donated critical sanitization items in schools to protect students and teachers.

Moses-Ones also highlighted the partnership through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project and Baylor University that enables the MOHW to detect dangerous new variants when they appear in Belize quickly.

The vaccines will be distributed to various regions of the country. One of those areas is the Orange Walk District. Muffles College in Orange Walk Town posted on their Facebook page that their students will receive the Pfizer vaccine on August 23rd at the school’s auditorium.

The COVID-19 virus has led to an official global death toll of more than four million, of which 347 are Belizeans. The pandemic has also affected more than 200 million worldwide.

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