And it may be a long time until we do get there since the finish line for that 70% vaccination rate is no closer than it was a few months ago. Vaccinations have been crawling at a snail's pace, hovering right below 50% for the longest. And because Belizeans aren't getting their shots, the ministry had to dispose of tens of thousands of AstraZeneca vaccines in a time when other countries are clamoring for them. We got the minister's thoughts on this.

Hon. Kevin Bernard - Minister of Health and Wellness
"There was about 52,600 I believe AstraZeneca vaccines that expired and are no longer able to be used. Let me say though that in terms of the Pfizer, we have a little over 102,000 vaccines, we are ramping up our vaccine campaign in trying to get our citizens who have not gotten our booster to try and get our booster shots, remember we have a little over 32,000 persons who have gotten their booster shots and we have over 212,000 Belizeans who have gotten their second dose so if Belizeans that have gotten their second doses, come out and get their booster, we are able to utilize those vaccines. But I just want to put one thing clear and maybe Dr Musa can add to this, the Pfizer vaccines have a shelf life up to may as according to the CDC, those have been declared so we can utilize those vaccines until the end of May."

Courtney Menzies
"In this day and age, vaccines are like gold, there are countries that are clamoring for vaccines and we had some that we literally had to dispose of, this has to be sort of heart wrenching to have to throw away perfectly good vaccines."

Hon. Kevin Bernard
"In Jamaica I think a few weeks ago it was told that over 200,000 vaccines were disposed of in Jamaica. While our small quantity of 52,000 may sound a little when compared to Jamaica, it is of course heart wrenching to us that we were not able to get the Belizeans to take the jab to get their vaccine so we're encouraging the people and this is one of the reasons why we are doing massive outreach to get on the rural areas, to get on the ground, especially in those areas where the vaccination percentage is very low, in the down south for example, we want to get there and get our people vaccinated and I'm making the call to all our Belizeans who have gotten their second dose, once it is time to get your booster shot, come out and get your booster shot,and for those who have not been vaccinated or have not gone out to get vaccinated, please come out and get your vaccination."

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