BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 26, 2021– Today, the country received a donation of 132,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine thanks to a partnership between UNICEF and the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT).
The Deputy Regional Manager of the Central Health Region, Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, received the donation from Ms. Paulett Wadem, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at UNICEF Belize.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is a one-shot jab reported to have a 66.3% efficacy in clinical trials, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
A Cabinet brief released yesterday stated that the vaccines will be added to the supply of vaccines currently being administered as part of the country’s inoculation campaign and that it will be rolled out within the coming days.
The AVAT was established by the African Covid-19 Vaccination Acquisition Task Team in August of 2020 under H. E. President Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa.
An agreement with Johnson and Johnson was made possible through a US $2 billion facility provided by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
While the augmentation of Belize’s vaccine supply is welcomed, the CDC has noted, “There is a plausible causal relationship between J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and a rare and serious adverse event—blood clots with low platelets (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS). “
This occurred in about 7 per 1 million women between 18 and 49 years old but is rare in women over 50 and all men.