British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2021

End of vaccine shelf-life nearing but number of vaccinations low

End of vaccine shelf-life nearing but number of vaccinations low

With only weeks remaining till the BVI’s AstraZeneca vaccines reach the end of their shelf-life, Health Minister Carvin Malone is renewing calls for residents to get vaccinated.
In a statement on Thursday, March 25, Malone said the BVI received 20,000 doses of vaccines from the UK so far and will get an additional 12,000 doses in five days.

“In total, by April 2nd 2021, BVI would have received 32,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK. The expiration dates on these vaccines are May 31st and June 30th 2021,” the minister stated.

However, only an approximate 7,000 first doses have been administered to date. This means the BVI will have only dented roughly half its total vaccines by the time these 7,000 persons get their second dose.

And with the newly recommended 12-week interval between doses, the BVI is not expected to start administering second doses until May 5 — less than a month before the first batch of vaccines expires.

“Nations around the world are searching and crying out for adequate supply of vaccines and can find no answers. BVI residents of other nationalities have agreed and in large percentages have predominantly been vaccinated. Our local population have been rather hesitant and only a small percentage have agreed and have been vaccinated,” Malone stated while encouraging persons to get vaccinated.

For those still sceptical about taking the vaccine, the minister said a Community Outreach Committee has been formed to educate and inform all residents of the importance and benefits of being vaccinated.

He suggested that the economy is strongly dependent on how many people get inoculated.

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