Addressing the matter via a social media post, the former Minister for Education said: “Educating the population on the vaccine is extremely important. This is an important tool in the fight against the virus. There is so much misinformation out there.”
He added, “I am suggesting that the Ministry of Health (a doctor of health professional preferably to be used) organizes a social media town hall meeting, as soon as possible to explain to our people how the vaccine actually works and give them an opportunity to ask questions in order to make an intelligent decision.”
His comments were made following “numerous” conversations on the issue "in the last several weeks” he said.
Walwyn further said persons always inquire whether he would be taking the vaccine, and he shared that he is “considering it” adding “I think I might do it.”
The former minister shared that he would in turn question the same persons on the topic and they would respond “no” without having any ‘real” reason for saying no.
In a December 17, 2020, statement from Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Carvin Malone said the the Government of the British Virgin Islands has signed on to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) GAVI Covax initiative which gives eligible countries access to COVID-19 vaccines.
He said in addition, the Government of the UK has expressed its commitment to provide the BVI with access to COVID-19 vaccines and tentatively the Ministry expects to receive vaccines in late January to early February.
“Given the lack of access to the BVI by direct flights and consequent transit times together with the specific cold chain requirements, efforts will focus on the Astrazenca vaccine which is compatible with our current cold chain and logistics for the management of vaccines through the Territory’s expanded programme of immunization. Given this information, the Ministry of Health and its stakeholders will immediately begin the mammoth task of planning for the introduction of this vaccine in the Territory,” the Minister shared.
Hon. Malone said this would include the involvement of multiple stakeholders from the public, private, and non-government sectors coupled with a significant health promotion effort.
“We are well aware that many misconceptions, myths and untruths have surrounded COVID-19 vaccination, all of which will need to be addressed in our programming and planning for the introduction of the vaccine. The public can rest assured that the vaccine will be offered on a voluntary basis with best efforts to provide adequate information for persons seeking vaccination. As we advance our plans, more information will be forthcoming to the public with regards to COVID-19 vaccination,” Hon. Malone shared.
To date, there has been no known public forum on the topic.