At least one talk show host is not pleased that residents have to travel to the neighbouring US Virgin Islands to be able to access alternative COVID-19 vaccines.
The BVI government is working in tandem with their USVI counterparts to offer BVI residents the Johnson
and Pfizer vaccines
for a limited time on St. John. This initiative is particularly for teenagers and residents who prefer being inoculated with the aforementioned vaccines
instead of the AstraZeneca
, that is being offered in the BVI.
Host of the Honestly Speaking Radio Programme, Claude Skelton-Cline raised the issue on Tuesday.
“We live here in the Virgin Islands
where the vaccine
that is available to us, AstraZeneca
, has not been configured, approved for children. So we have a part of the population remaining in a constant state of disadvantage because there is no vaccine
available to them in these Virgin Islands that addresses their age group.”
He added, “The longer that continues, the virus, just how we are trying to live, the virus is also trying to live, so how does the virus do that? It mutates; it becomes something else, and that something else is normally stronger. So our children remain vulnerable, super targets, because the vaccines
available to us do not meet their needs.”
He continued: “Our next-door neighbours have it and there is this little proviso, providing that you have immigration access to the USVI, and then there are children within your household, and you can register for your child to go and get vaccinated.”
Skelton-Cline said he found it disconcerting that “we do not have the options here on the ground! Which leaves some 4,5 to 5,000 people in our population who are not able to get vaccinated. Not because they may not want to, but it is because they can’t because the option is not here, with the exception of those with US immigration status who can get to the US; while this COVID
-19 mutates, gets stronger.”