The decision to access Covid-19 shots via COVAX has turned out to be a brilliant move, especially with the promised shipment of the second dose of vaccine from the UK being delayed for unknown reasons, causing persons to be turned away at vaccination sites across the territory.
On Sunday, March 7, 2021, the Virgin Islands received 2000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for immediate distribution from the Government of Dominica.
A delegation of officials from the Government of the Virgin Islands, including Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) and Health Minister Hon Carvin Malone (AL) were present at the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island to receive the shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines.
The Government of the VI reportedly went ahead with receiving the shipment made available through the OECS negotiations on behalf of the Virgin Islands despite alleged efforts by Governor of the Virgin Islands, Mr John J. Rankin, CMG to dissuade the VI from accepting vaccines via COVAX.
Meanwhile, Government has since announced that vaccination centres for the COVID-19 Vaccine will be closed today, Monday, March 8, 2021, but will reopen tomorrow, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, from 10:00 am.
The centres are Catholic Community Centre in Road Town, R&R Malone Complex in Pockwood Pond, Nurse Iris O'Neal Centre in Virgin Gorda and East End Seventh-day Adventist Church.
COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
It’s coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in partnership with GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance; CEPI, the Centre for Epidemics Preparedness Innovations, and others. So far, 156 economies have signed up, representing nearly two thirds of the global population.
COVAX aims to procure and deliver doses of a safe, effective and approved vaccine for fair distribution around the world. Some 64 high-income countries have already joined the scheme, including 29 from “Team Europe” as part of an agreement with the European Commission, while 92 low- and middle-income economies will be eligible for support.
The UK also signed up for COVAX.
The initial aim of COVAX is to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which, according to GAVI, should be enough to protect high risk and vulnerable people, as well as frontline healthcare workers.
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