While that donation may be sufficient for phase one of GOB’s vaccination plan, there is the need for much more in order to achieve a seventy percent herd immunity. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amalia Mai the government is knocking on all doors to procure more vaccines.
Amalia Mai, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Prime Minister Briceno has written to the president of Mexico to inquiry about the possibility of getting from them. We’re looking at the UK- whatever door we can knock we are knocking because it’s critical that the entire population gets the vaccine against the COVID. We have the curve the pandemic and so we’re looking everywhere that we can. We’ve spoken to Canada, we’ve spoken to a number of other countries it’s non-stop.”
Honorary Consul General of India to Belize Arun Hotchandani noted that while there is no official commitment from the Government of India, he has already begun lobbying for a second shipment of vaccines on behalf of the Belizean people.
Arun Hotchandani, Honorary Consul General of India to Belize: “I was teasing the minister by telling him I’m already starting to lobby for the second set of vaccines. We don’t have a commitment as yet. As you know India had initiated its huge international vaccine drive where we gave millions of vaccines to the neighboring countries in India: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and then the demand for these vaccines became extremely there. As you know the whole world is in desire of the vaccines. The Americans are trying to get their people vaccinated, Europe is trying to get their people but India decided to go global and to become the – the Serum Institute in India is the largest vaccine producer in the world and we feel that with India’s donation transatlantic, this was one of the few donations and we will continue to lobby to our sister country and I hope that they can come through for us sooner than later.”
The Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat expressed gratitude for yesterday’s vaccine donation noting that while it is not a cure for COVID-19, the vaccine will weaken the effects of the virus.
Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness: “As the Minister of Health and Wellness it is satisfying to see that we’ve been able to get these vaccines in country to start helping our people. You know it is essential to get vaccinated, it’s not 100% proof that you will not contract the virus but it will guarantee you that you will not die form the virus, it will lessen the effects of the virus should you become contaminated thereafter. And so this is an incredible day for us and a very proud moment for us. The Government of Belize and myself personally as the minister who has charge of the health and wellness of our country.”
Minister Chebat also noted that his Ministry is currently focused on vaccinating frontline workers and Citizens with underlying conditions.