The first batch of BVI residents was yesterday, Tuesday, August 3, transported to the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) to receive an alternative COVID-19 vaccine.
Only the AstraZeneca
brand of the vaccine
is available in the BVI. But through a programme dubbed the BVI-USVI Vaccination Bubble Initiative, residents are now able to travel to the neighbouring territory and get either the Pfizer
or the Johnson
& Johnson vaccines
“We had the first 35 persons being transported to St John; as approved by the [USVI] Governor through the particular request by the Premier,” Health Minister Carvin Malone told ZBVI radio from the West End Ferry Dock where the ferry to St John departed.
“We were able to register the names and actually fulfil all the protocols for entering the United States and will be administering vaccinations,” Malone added.
The first trip comprised of persons 12 to 17 years old who were given priority once they had a parent or legal guardian accompanying them. They’ve been given the Pfizer
brand which, unlike AstraZeneca
, can be administered to children and teens.
The next trip to the USVI will be for persons 18 years and older.
“Those persons will be invited to now register so that we can then have the other trip. We have about three to five trips that will be administered in this particular regard,” Malone stated.