Today, the Acting Director of Health Services, Doctor Melissa Diaz-Musa confirmed to News Five that Belize will be getting about one hundred thousand eight hundred doses of the AstraZeneza vaccine from the COVAX Facility. That is the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for the country, which is expected to be in country by the end of March; the exact date will be confirmed later this week. But Doctor Diaz-Musa says that the Ministry of Health and Wellness is also looking at other options available to ensure that vaccines can be provided to about two hundred thousand plus persons.

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Acting Director of Health Services, M.O.H.W.

“We had ordered thirty percent from the COVAX facility and we are very close to getting our final allocation letter for the first phase. Through COVAX, we have three vaccines that have been approved or authorized for use. There is the Pfizer, there is the Moderna and then on Monday, the WHO also authorized AstraZeneca for emergency use. More than likely, we have been told that it will be AstraZeneca and in the next few days, we will get that letter to confirm how many doses will come and the date that they are expected to start the shipment. We have an estimated population of four hundred and twenty thousand persons. Calculating thirty percent it comes up to a hundred and twenty-six thousand persons. What we have to keep in mind is our target population. So our target population are persons eighteen and over and in Belize that accounts for about two hundred and forty thousand persons. So when you look at it, we would really need to vaccinate ninety-five percent of that two hundred and forty thousand people to get our seventy percent population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.”

Channel 5