This year’s slogan is “Vaccines bring us closer. #GetVax”. The theme highlights how vaccines bring us closer to family and friends and a world without suffering from diseases such as polio and measles.
The 2021 VWA celebration takes place in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, a challenging, unusual, and difficult task for all countries in the region. It is the first non-influenza pandemic affecting more than 200 countries. Approximately half of the cases globally have been reported in the Region of the Americas.
The COVID-19-vaccines are one of the most cost-effective steps to control the pandemic and reduce its health, economic, and social impacts. Forty-nine countries and territories in the region have begun vaccinating against COVID-19, administering more than 286 million doses up to April 16, 2021, with Belize administering 40,236 doses up to April 26, 2021.
The COVID-19 vaccines have placed the immunization program at the centre of the pandemic response, an opportunity to reinforce the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent disease outbreaks and maintain healthy populations. Many other dangerous diseases are preventable through immunization, an essential service that must be preserved during the pandemic.
Through vaccination, the region has eliminated six vaccine-preventable diseases: smallpox (1971), polio (1994); rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (2015); measles (2016); and neonatal tetanus (2017).
Vaccination-Week in the Americas began in 2003 in response to an endemic outbreak of measles in the Americas. This gives countries a yearly opportunity to highlight the essential work of the national immunization programs.
The Ministry of Health & Wellness extends a tremendous thank you to all the vaccination teams working arduously to vaccinate the population against vaccine-preventable diseases.
The public of Belize is encouraged to get vaccinated when it is their turn, and parents are asked to continue to bring their children to their nearest health facility or mobile clinic for their scheduled vaccinations.