BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 19, 2021– A shipment of 111,150 Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines — the first of several shipments that will be sent to the country—arrived in Belize yesterday, August 18. The donation from the US government arrived just minutes after 8:00 at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) on Wednesday morning.
A handing-over ceremony took place on the PGIA tarmac, where officials from the US Embassy in Belize and the government of Belize delivered remarks before the vaccines were transported to the national vaccine storage facility in Belmopan.
The Pfizer vaccine is the only inoculation approved for children 12 years of age and older. It is being hoped that this vaccine will allow children to get back into the classroom after being outside of the school setting for over a year.
In total, according to the new US Chargé d’Affaires, Leyla Moses-Ones, between 275,000 and 345,000 Pfizer vaccines will be donated by the United States to Belize. This amount is sufficient to ensure the inoculation (which will involve the administering of two separate vaccine doses) of about 170,000 persons.
Belize is one of the first CARICOM countries to receive a donation of vaccines from the US through the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
“This donation is from the American people and we offer today’s donation of the over 111,000 vaccine doses with openness, with transparency, with the confidence of the strength of our promises, and of the strong friendship between our countries,” US Chargé d’Affaires, Moses-Ones said.
The Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Michel Chebat, expressed gratitude for the donation and said that the donation of the Pfizer vaccine will increase the scope and effectiveness of the countrywide vaccination campaign.
“As we endeavor to increase the uptake of the vaccines, today’s donation of the Pfizer vaccine from the Government and people of the United States of America to the Government and people of Belize is timely,” Hon. Chebat said.
He added, “On behalf of the people of Belize, I want to express our sincerest gratitude to the Government and people of the United States of America. The donation of these vaccines will help to strengthen our strategy to end the Covid-19 pandemic, it will help us to save lives, to protect those who are most vulnerable. It will assist us to fully open our economy and to return to some semblance of normalcy. “
In addition to this donation, the United States has donated almost 260,000 PPE’s to aid in the immunization campaign, and it also gave the country an ultra-low-temperature freezer for storage of the Pfizer vaccines.