Ag. Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 852 7742
The British Virgin Islands received the second shipment of 12,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the United Kingdom.
This now makes a total of 20,000 doses received from the United Kingdom in addition to the 2,000 doses from Dominica to aid in the Territory’s COVID-19 response.
The vaccines were welcomed by His Excellency the Governor John J. Rankin, Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie and Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone, this evening at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.
Health Minister Honourable Malone expressed gratitude to the UK for their continued support and to those 6,511 persons who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as of March 16.
He also stated the importance of persons getting vaccinated as an important tool to revitalising the economy, to re-open borders, and reduce re-entry restrictions; alluding to ramping the vaccination programme to encourage more persons to get vaccinated.
Honourable Carvin Malone also stated that the Government of the Virgin Islands is being guided by the science in administering the vaccines which were previously recommended to be taken in two doses, 6 weeks apart, but as of recent the local technical teams and international recommendations are now 10 to 12 weeks apart. This new timeframe is to ensure the efficacy of vaccine administration against the effects of COVID-19.
Governor John J. Rankin expressed his gratitude to the people and to Government officials for their partnership approach in doing the best in protecting residents.
Governor Rankin stated that the BVI is doing well in keeping the cases low and administering vaccines, highlighting that the aim is to vaccinate as much of the adult population and once that goal is achieved, that it would be a game changer for the BVI.
Premier Honourable Andrew A. Fahie thanked the United Kingdom and stated that the Territory is bearing fruits of its labour in getting to this stage as other countries are still battling with death and negative effects of COVID-19.
Honourable Fahie then expressed empathy and extended apologies to the local business community for the difficult time caused by COVID-19 and stated that it is not easy to balance lives and livelihoods and offered commendation for their resilience. He closed by encouraging persons who have not yet received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to do so, to put them in a better position personally and economically.
COVID-19 vaccination centres are open Monday through Friday and will accommodate Healthcare workers, frontline workers, the elderly, those with chronic diseases and the disabled at 10:00 a.m. and all other residents after 11:00 a.m. All residents must register at ministryofhealth.gov.vg/vaccines but walk-ins will also be accommodated with in-person registration on site.
For more information on the centres and registration, persons can also visit www.bvi.gov.vg.
The public is reminded to comply with all health and safety measures that include hand washing, wearing of face masks in public spaces, maintaining 6 feet from others outside of your immediate household, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, keeping hands out of your face and limiting large gatherings.