Just over 10,000 adult persons in the Virgin Islands have received at least a first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine, some 7000 short of the 17,000 target set by Government. The other issue; however, is that the vaccines available free of cost in the Virgin Islands will soon expire.
“For 3 months (February, March and April) the anti-vaxxers ran their course with courage and here comes May 2021.
“We must, "TURN IT UP IN MAY" if we are to avoid returning any of the 8,000 doses gifted to us by the UK and Dominica: The choice is yours and my commitment is to encourage you!
Don't hesitate, vaccinate!” Hon Malone wrote on his Facebook page on April 2, 2021.
Hon Malone noted that his “heart bleeds” as he is aware of the COVID-19 challenges faced by regional and international jurisdictions.
He said lives and livelihoods are being devastated and a number of jurisdictions cannot access the required quantity of vaccines.
“In the BVI we have the inventory and the capacity to administer vaccines to another 8,000 persons - FREE OF COST & FREEDOM TO CHOOSE,” Hon Malone emphasised.
He said Government will continue to educate, “but let's be clear, we CANNOT allow those who will NEVER vaccinate to allow you to procrastinate until the vaccine is either expired or returned or gifted to other jurisdictions.”
According to Medical News Today, anti-vaxxer” refers to people who disagree with the use of vaccines for a variety of reasons. For example, some view vaccines as an infringement on their human rights.
Vaccines, according to Mecial News Today, are one of the safest and most effective health interventions for infectious diseases and they have had a staggering impact on reducing the burden of infectious cases worldwide.
However, a minority of people oppose their use, and some actively spread misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
The anti-vaxxer movement began in the 18th century, with religious leaders describing them as the “devil’s work.” The campaign grew in the 19th and 20th centuries as a matter of human rights.
According to a recent report in The Lancet Digital Health, around 31 million people follow anti-vaccine groups on Facebook. It also estimates that social media outlets could be making about $1 billion from advertising every year.
Facebook and other social media platforms regularly receive criticism for the extent of misinformation spreading within these communities.