British Virgin Islands Government officials received the first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine at the launching of the COVID-19 Vaccination programme.
The vaccines were administered at the Dr. D Orlando Smith Hospital Chapel during a live press conference today.
Officials who received the first dose were the Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone; His Excellency the Governor John Rankin; Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration and Ninth District Representative, Honourable Vincent Wheatley; Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition and Representative of the Eighth District, Honourable Marlon Penn; Representative for the Fourth District, Honourable Mark Vanterpool; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Julian Willock; Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Irad Potter; and Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronald Georges.
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone stated that the Government of the Virgin Islands and residents have made many sacrifices in keeping the Territory safe as COVID-19 continues to affect countries around the world.
Honourable Malone highlighted that the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme would focus on private and public health professionals and frontline workers starting on February 12.
Governor John Rankin remarked on how well the Virgin Islands have managed with the effects of COVID-19 and emphasised that the vaccine will protect persons and save lives. Governor Rankin also called for continued community support.
Premier and Minister for Finance, Honourable Andrew Fahie explained the challenge in managing lives and livelihoods with COVID-19 but warned that the threat still exists and that persons should continue to follow protocols guided by health officials.
Premier thanked the hard working health teams and the United Kingdom for their continued support in working together to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Persons can now register their interest in getting the COVID-19 vaccine by visiting https://ministryofhealth.gov.vg/vaccine/. Completing the registration will not guarantee an appointment but the information will be reviewed by health personnel and an appointment for a later date will be arranged.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Programme has taken a comprehensive phased approach that will focus on frontline workers including health care workers, police, customs, immigration, and fire department officers over the next week and a half. Additional groups of frontline workers, elderly persons, and those with chronic diseases and most at risk will also be accommodated.