PAHO's delivery of jabs in Belize marks another milestone in 'vaccine equity'

PAHO’s delivery of jabs in Belize marks another milestone in ‘vaccine equity’

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Belize: Belize received 33,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility on 31 March 2021.

They obtained their consignment of vaccines under a global venture between the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and -the World Health Organization (WHO), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi.

The Caribbean region is in desperate need of COVID-19 vaccines for their prevention from coronavirus. The arrival of vaccines guarantees the equitable distribution of antidotes worldwide.

This consignment was part of the first phase of Belize deliveries, and more vaccines are anticipated to arrive successively during 2021.

According to the first series of COVAX allocations, Belize is anticipated to continue receiving shots until it reaches 100,800, the amount particularised by COVAX.

PAHO’s Revolving Fund, which is accountable for the procurement of coronavirus vaccines for the Americas’ nations under the COVAX Mechanism, sent 33,600 shots of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine, produced by SK Bioscience of South Korea. The vaccines landed at the Phillip Goldson International Airport (PGIA).

“The arrival of the vaccines through COVAX is very encouraging as it means that more people will now be able to be protected from COVID-19,” stated Dr Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize. “We will continue to provide our best service with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the nation to support vaccination along with the known public health and social measures that can help to restrict the spread of COVID-19, protect health services, and save lives.”

Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, expressed how grateful he was for this delivery to add to the vaccines that we already have.

“We extend gratitude for the team effort coordinated by our partners, PAHO/WHO, UNICEF and IDB for contracting, purchasing, and handling the shipment logistics on behalf of Belize and the other 36 nations participating in COVAX,” stated Minister Chebat

“This was our only faith for a long time to guarantee that the individuals of Belize get vaccines, and now we can celebrate the arrival of vaccines.”

“Today’s arrival of the first COVAX shipment records another milestone for the children of Belize who have been the silent sufferers of the coronavirus pandemic,” stated Alison Parker, Representative for UNICEF Belize

“The past year has rushed Belize into a humanitarian and socio-economic plight upending the lives of societies, communities and families, particularly children. 

Accelerating immunisation coverage is critical to maintaining the social and economic consequence of COVID-19 and rebuilding Belize. UNICEF is proud to be the part of this national effort in the engagement of Belize’s children.”

COVAX attempts to provide vaccines for at least 20% of each participating country’s population in 2021. 

In this first round of vaccine distribution, all COVAX participating nations will receive shots to vaccinate between 2.2-2.6% of their people. 

The only exemptions are small island developing lands, which will receive a distribution of vaccines to cover between 16 and 20% of their people due to the high logistical cost of transporting small quantities of vaccines.

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