British Virgin Islands

Monday, Aug 02, 2021

First COVID-19 vaccine batch to expire on May 31, 2021

First COVID-19 vaccine batch to expire on May 31, 2021

The race is on to vaccinate some 4000 people in the Virgin Islands, given the first batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca (AZD1222) COVID-19 vaccine in the Virgin Islands (VI) will expire on May 31, 2021, according to Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronald E. Georges.

According to Dr Georges, on the February 4, 2021, edition of Honestly Speaking on ZBVI 780 AM, this short shelf life of the vaccine has hindered the territory for acquiring its full 80,000 doses necessary, for the full vaccination.

VI can only handle 8000 doses for now - Dr Georges


“The UK is giving us these vaccines, and in terms of the logistics and the transportation, they were delivering to several overseas territories at the same time and based on the calculation they worked out that 8000 was the number they can safely deliver within the regulatory framework,” he said.

Dr Georges said the territory would not want to take on a large number of vaccines only to realise that it cannot manage distribution.

“You don’t want to take on a whole pile of stuff and then you realise you can’t get it moved as fast as you want to and then you have wastage,” he said, while indicating that 8000 is what the VI can manage before more vaccines are ordered.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) said that authorities expect some amount of public hesitancy when vaccination starts, however, steps are in place to get the first batch out.


Public hesitancy expected - Hon Malone


Meanwhile, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) said that authorities expect some amount of public hesitancy when vaccination starts; however, steps are in place to get the first batch out.

Dr Georges said with frontline worker scheduled to be vaccinated first, the rest of the VI will be able to make appointments for their doses and the public will be able to call and register ahead of scheduling appointments.

He said the first 8000 batch of vaccines will be able to vaccinate some 4000 persons, with two doses each.

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