The Ministry of Health and Wellness indicates that as of May 17, an estimated 53,496 persons have been vaccinated in Belize; of those, approximately +3,300 have received the first dose in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Approximately 310 second doses have been administered as of Friday, May 14, 2021.
According to Joshua Canul, Medical Officer II at Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, most persons called back for their second dose have been very responsive. There hasn’t been one person, as yet, who doesn’t want the second dose. The second dose is the very same as the first, he indicated.
In San Pedro, side effects have varied with persons experiencing no symptoms with either of the doses to persons having side effects with both doses. It’s a case by case basis, explains Dr. Canul. He commented to Ambergris Today, that there are still people going for their vaccines, partly because of the hotels re-opening and also because people are seeing those getting the vaccine not getting harmed, even though the severity of side effects have varied with each individual.
“I believe the MOHW is trying to do all they can to ensure there are enough vaccines for second dose in the up coming months,” stated Dr. Canul.
Belize, which has recorded over 12,700 cases of the virus and 323 deaths since the first case was detected in March last year, last week received a second shipment of 33,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX Facility. This is with partnership between the Belize Government, the coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF.
This arrival to Belize is the second in a series of shipments of vaccines to enter the country through the COVAX Facility in its effort to deliver at least two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021. The shipment signals another milestone in a historic effort to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.
The Importance of Getting Vaccinated:
The vaccines can either make you completely immune to COVID-19 or worst case scenario, if you get COVID-19 and have been vaccinated, you will experience less severe symptoms and prevent death.
“By getting vaccinated we are all contributing to contain the negative outcomes associated to COVID-19. This shipment has arrived two days before administering the last doses of the current stock,” commented Health and Wellness Minister, Michel Chebat.
Authorities are reminding the public that even after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, they are to continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines and wear masks properly in public, maintain physical distancing, and wash and sanitize hands often.