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Belize Seeks New Avenues in Buying COVID-19 Vaccines

The country is still awaiting the final confirmation to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility.

The country is still awaiting the final confirmation to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility. The final confirmation will come via an allocation letter which means that Belize would then be in line to get the first set of vaccines under the COVAX vaccine program.  More than two hundred thousand vaccines were ordered to vaccinate the target population which is everyone who is eighteen years or older. That amount, however, would still prove insufficient to meet the country’s target; as such the government is looking for more COVID-19 vaccines. According to Dr. Largespada-Beer Belize continues in bilateral negotiations with other countries to source and buy additional COVID-19 vaccines for the country.

Dr.Natalia Largaespada Beer, Technical Advisor, Maternal and Childcare Unit

Dr.Natalia Largaespada Beer, Technical Advisor, Maternal and Childcare Unit: “Remember we shared earlier this year that the Government of Belize signed an agreement with GAVI on the 18th of September 2020 when the government decided that herd immunity like all other countries around the world to achieve through the use of the COVID-19 vaccine. So we did a down payment in October and we are awaiting the final allocation from the COVAX which is the mechanism for the procurement of vaccines and as traditionally we procure vaccines through the PanAmerican Health Organization Revolving Fund so this is one more vaccine that we will procure through them so we just have to wait on that procurement process once we get our final allocation of how many doses of vaccines we will be receiving by the end of March and beginning of April; we’re supposed to get that letter today and then the process starts for the payment. We have a budget outside of the vaccine’s cost. As I mentioned to you all the vaccines can go from $3-$4 US per dose up to $75US so we have the other parts of the budget which it doesn’t matter what vaccine comes in and that budget is approximately $2.5 million US dollars and that is what we are working with currently.”

Reporter: Okay so that’s available. 

Dr.Natalia Largaespada Beer, Technical Advisor, Maternal and Childcare Unit: “Yes that will be available through reformulated operation with the IDB.”

The Ministry anticipates the arrival of the COVAX vaccines at the end of March or the beginning of April.