The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has confirmed that the vaccination of the tourism sector began on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. This is the second phase of the National Covid-19 Immunization campaign, which also includes members of the National Assembly & Judiciary, teachers, police officers, and the staff of the Customs and Immigration department.
Recently, the Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations and the BTB conducted a survey among industry stakeholders to determine the number of persons inclined to accept the vaccine. 87% of the respondents stated that they were interested in taking the vaccine.
Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer, Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, informed the BTB that 8,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are being made available for the tourism sector and the campaign will initially target frontline workers considered to be at high risk. For this reason, those that are 40 years and older will receive the first dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine. The second dose is scheduled to be administered in 12 weeks’ time.
“The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for those working in the tourism sector is welcomed news. The vaccination of frontline tourism workers; the reduction in active COVID-19 cases; the receipt of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels stamp; and the ongoing implementation of the Gold Standard Certification program convey to world that Belize is a safe destination. This will assist us in our efforts to boost traveller confidence and attract visitors to Belize,” said Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations.
According to Dr. Beer so far 21,000 Belizeans have received the first dose of the vaccine. She said that today, the Ministry of Health and Wellness will receive 33,600 new doses of the vaccine as part of the COVAX programme, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by UNICEF, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and others. Additional doses of the vaccine will be received in the coming weeks.