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Jul 26, 2021

Hundreds Get Vaccinated at Michael Finnegan Market

The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues with its nationwide vaccination campaign and this past Saturday, a vaccination centre was set up at the Michael Finnegan Market in Belize City. It joined in with the efforts from the Central Health Region as hundreds of persons accessed the area to get their first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Minister of Health and Wellness, Michel Chebat and his team from the ministry were out at the Michael Finnegan Market where a vaccination clinic was set up as part of its nationwide campaign to get as many persons vaccinated. Bustling with residents who were out shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, it was an ideal setting as public health officials were handing out masks and educating people about the purpose of the campaign. Minister Chebat says that the goal is to give as many people that added layer of protection to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.


Michel Chebat

Michel Chebat, Minister of Health & Wellness

“Perfect scenario for us. We are on our national vaccine campaign and we are here at the Michael Finnegan Market this morning. I am pleased to say that we’ve done about a hundred persons since we started this morning and we are looking forward to having some more persons come out and take advantage of the fact that the vaccines are out here and accessible to them. We keep on saying, the vaccine saves lives. We’ve moved to a stage where you can’t only think about yourself, but you must think about your family, you must think about country and this is the only way that we can reopen our country. We have so many people who have been left without a job and we want our citizens to get back to work, but this is the only way to do it.”


The purpose of the countrywide drive is to reach to those who, for whatever reason, may not have been able to access a vaccination center.  And on Saturday alone, hundreds of persons came out.


Jennifer Sanchez

Jennifer Sanchez, Belize City Resident

“I came out to take my vaccine today because I am a frontline worker and I communicate with lot of people and I noh want ketch the virus or anything. So I decided to come and get vaccinated today.”


Duane Moody

“Why you take so long to get vaccinated?”


Jennifer Sanchez

“Cause I fraid fi needle; that’s why.”


Duane Moody

“But it was easy…”


Jennifer Sanchez

“Yeah. I noh feel no pain, nothing yet, but I encourage people fi come and take it because ih good.”


Kayla Stevens

Kayla Stevens, Belize City Resident

“Frighten at first, but glad I get over it. Mi kinda fraid, but yo know I work dah the terminal with people and interact with lotta people so it best I come get tested before it too late.”


Duane Moody

“This dah mi yo first shot right?”


Kayla Stevens

“Yap; this is my first time. I mi kinda nervous, but I pull through good.”


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Deputy Regional Health Manager, Central Health Region

“Persons who may have difficulty to access our health facilities, who are here already can come and take the opportunity to take the vaccine. We are collaborating with the team from the Ministry of Health and Wellness as well and that has helped us a lot because it has been such a great success being here.”


After a person’s data is entered into the system, they then go to a public health officer who administers the jab of COVID-19 vaccine. An area was set up for that fifteen-minute wait time after which the inoculated can then leave. Simultaneously, across the city at the Central Health Region compound, that vaccination center was also actively administering the jab.


Melissa Diaz-Musa

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa

“In health, we do know that access is very important. So access doesn’t really only mean where you are located; your hours of working, the times that you can do outreach – go to people’s homes and go to their businesses and come out to public spaces as well – because we need to be available and we need to be everywhere where persons will be so that they have no excuse and all the opportunities to take on the vaccine once we are at their location. We have two constant places besides our health facilities and that is at Swift Hall by Saint Martin’s Church on Vernon Street and also at Central Health Region at the old Nursing School compound. But all our health facilities also give vaccines and Matron Roberts constantly gives vaccines on a Saturday along with our site at the old Nursing School.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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