The Ministry of Health informs the public that the seasonal flu vaccine for 2020 to 2021 is now available for specific at-risk groups: children six to 23 months; adults 65 years and older; health care workers; and persons with heart or lung disease including asthma and chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney conditions, and HIV.

The vaccine helps to prevent against the flu and can also help reduce the severity of the illness. Mild side effects of the flu vaccine include a slight fever, muscle pain for a few days, and soreness where the injection was given.

The vaccine is available countrywide at no cost to the public. This year, the Government of Belize purchased 40,000 flu vaccines at a cost of approximately $170,984.

While this vaccine will not prevent COVID-19, the Ministry of Health strongly advises persons belonging to any of the at-risk groups to get the flu vaccine. This is especially encouraged as new, varying symptoms and long-term physical effects are being seen in persons infected with COVID-19.

Anyone who was vaccinated last year is advised to get vaccinated again this year.