GOVERNOR'S STATEMENT ON COVID-19 VACCINES
30TH JUNE 2021
I am speaking to you today as I am concerned, concerned to hear of the further increased cases of COVID-19 here in the BVI.
Over the past few weeks, we have seen neighbouring countries struggle with COVID-19, with those that are not vaccinated becoming incredibly ill, having to spend time in hospital and medical facilities coming under real strain from the numbers of people needing help. This Virus affects everyone, no matter what age, what race, what fitness levels. Indeed in Anguilla, it was a young, very fit chap under 30 who sadly ended up in hospital.
I know there are a lot of stories about the vaccine. I thought it helpful to provide some facts:
- No vaccine completely stops you getting a disease and this vaccine is no different. But like other things we do, such as tetanus jabs, it hugely reduces the risk.
- The Astra Zeneca vaccine ensures, that if you are unlucky enough to get Covid – 19, it will stop you from getting very ill - research says it is almost 100% protection from hospitalisation.
- Covid is very contagious and the delta variant that has been found in neighbouring countries is quickly spreading amongst communities
- The vaccine we have available in BVI, the Astra Zeneca vaccine, reduces the chance of transmission significantly, by almost 90%.
So two doses of the vaccine, will not only protect people from being very sick, it will also really reduce the chance of COVID-19 spreading in the community.
As the BVI opens up its borders, we have to find a way to manage risk and find a way to safely live with COVID in the territory.
I am not a doctor, I am your Governor, so I appreciate you may not want to hear my view, I understand that. But I urge you to listen to the medical doctors in the territory, all of whom have been fully vaccinated. They are the most qualified to advise us all, as they understand and examine the science, monitor the results, and manage the risk.
We currently have good supplies of the Astra Zeneca vaccine available in the BVI and I want to encourage you all, if you haven’t yet done so, to really consider that now is the time to get vaccinated. Please don’t wait and see, as that approach may sadly mean you, or a loved one, ends up in the hospital.
If you have your first shot on or before this Saturday, you can get your second shot before the end of July, which will give the very best protection. But even having your first shot will still help to protect you, your colleagues and families and this wonderful territory
So please, take the jab, protect the BVI.