Residents in the BVI are being cautioned against thinking that the vaccine to be distributed in the coming weeks will be the magic bullet against COVID-19.
Hon. Carvin Malone, Minister of Health and Social Development said as the rest of the world immunizes persons in the BVI need to do their part and immunize themselves against covid
19 as well.
“To reiterate vaccination is not a magic bullet against Covid
-19 but an important weapon in our arsenal to combat the virus and its impact on the Territory and wider global community,” he said.
The minister added, “while vaccination will reduce the chance of death, severe disease, and hospitalization from covid
19 it will still be important for us to continue to adhere to social distancing and other protocols.”
He said that only through ensuring that sufficient persons are immunized against Covid
-19 and together with the social distancing and other protocols can the world not only reduce the impact of this virus but begin to think about its eventual elimination.
Hon. Malone explained that with widespread immunization globally but in particular in the BVI can they begin to think about returning to some degree of normalcy and restoring the society and economy from the ravages of Covid
Further, he said that the Ministry of Health is also mindful of concerns surrounding new variants of Covid
-19 identified around the World and in particular the United Kingdom. The regional public health agency CARPHA has established the capacity to conduct typing of Covid
“The BVI has therefore already identified samples to be sent for special genetic typing along with other countries in the region for the purpose of identifying circulating strains in the Territory and the region,” he said.
According to Hon. Malone, the new strain is currently thought to cause more infections and not necessarily more severe disease, “current evidence is that PCR testing, treatments, and vaccine
are unchanged as compared to the other circulating strains.”