BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 1, 2021– The Ministry of Health and Wellness shared details about its planned vaccination campaign on Monday during a virtual press conference. According to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Michel Chebat, the vaccination rollout plan has already been prepared; however, the Ministry is remaining open to changes if they become necessary.
“Our COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan has been prepared; however, please bear in mind that this plan is a dynamic one, and it can be easily modified according to any unforeseen changes in the arrival date of the vaccines.” Minister Chebat stated.
The vaccine rollout will take place in five phases, each of which will involve the distribution of the vaccine to a particular group or groups. The first priority group to be vaccinated are healthcare workers — with an initial three medical workers being administered the first dose of the vaccine following the remarks at the press conference. They will be a part of phase 1A. Persons over the age of 60 will be vaccinated in part B of phase one, and those persons with special conditions, including persons living with Cancer, HIV, or those requiring dialysis, will be vaccinated in part C of phase one.
In part A of the second phase, teachers and police officers will be vaccinated. In part B, members of the National Assembly and the Judiciary will receive vaccinations along with officers from the Customs and Immigration departments. In part C, those persons working in the tourism sector will be vaccinated.
In the third phase, the Ministry will then start vaccinating BDF soldiers, members of the Coast Guard, and those in the National Fire Service. Persons with co-morbidities, those living with two or more conditions, will be vaccinated in part B of phase three. In Part C, workers from the Red Cross and those who work for companies that provide various essential services will be vaccinated. These include employees of BWS, BEL, the various cable companies, banks, and the telecom companies.
In part A of phase four, all other public servants will be vaccinated. The second part of that phase, part B, will involve the vaccination of transportation workers in public and private companies.
Finally, in phase five, all other citizens between the ages of 18 and 59 will be welcome to take the COVID-19 vaccines. According to some information recently received, even with the vaccination of these groups, only 58% of the population will be inoculated. The international recommendation is to have at least 70% of the population in a country inoculated in order to achieve herd immunity.
At this time, Belize is scheduled to receive 100,800 jabs from the COVAX facility, along with about 20,000 doses from the Russian Federal Republic of their Sputnik 5 vaccine and, as recently announced by Prime Minister John Briceño, 25,000 doses of vaccine from the government of India.
Despite the launch of our inoculation program, the Ministry of Health and Wellness is urging Belizeans and visitors to not let their guard down. During his remarks, the Minister of Health and Wellness shared that the flattened COVID-19 curve is a source of relief, but the Ministry is still bracing for a third wave of infections.