More than 1,400 residents across the British Virgin Islands have already registered to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine since vaccination roll-out programme launched less than a week ago.
Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Ronald Georges shared that statistic with BVI News following reports of an overwhelming turn-out of persons for the vaccine on Wednesday.
Dr Georges said the majority of those individuals were not a part of the registered persons for Phase I of the programme, which is for essential and frontline workers.
“From the pictures, I saw the clinic was obviously mobbed by persons not included in the Phase I group and the staff would have been under immense pressure. From reports, they handled the situation well. As stated, it is incumbent on persons to respect the process and do their civic duty by allowing those designated to be at the head of the queue to be vaccinated first,” Dr Georges stated.
He added: “We are in Phase I of essential and frontline workers vaccination; after which we will move on to Phase II — those over 60 and with underlying conditions. Clearly, a large number of persons outside of these groups are very anxious to get vaccinated and presented at vaccination locations.”
As for the number persons who have been vaccinated in the territory so far, Dr Georges told BVI news, “it is over 200”.
He said the information will be entered into an electronic vaccination database on an ongoing basis. He said the Health Ministry, “should be able to provide regular reports on numbers shortly”.
Encouraging to see numbers interested in vaccine
In the meantime, the Acting CMO also said it was very encouraging to witness the large number of persons showing interest in taking the vaccine.
He, however, urged persons to ensure they utilise the appropriate measure to take the vaccine, which first entails registering then waiting for an appointment to get vaccinated.
“While persons may be on the fence as more and more persons do take the vaccine and others can see that they are actually no significant concerns, more persons will be accepting of vaccination … Persons are encouraged to exercise patience and proceed in an orderly manner and await to be scheduled in their respective phases as the vaccination centres are brought online,” Dr Georges stated.
Enough vaccines for all
The BVI has received 8,000 vials of vaccines so far and this is sufficient to inoculate 4,000 persons.
Dr Georges said territory is expected to receive even more vaccines “very soon”.
“We are very confident that given the donations from the UK, we should have sufficient vaccines to satisfy the demand and persons should not be concerned that they will be left out. It is incumbent on all of us to be civil about this and respect the process which is designed to ensure that the vaccine does reach everyone according to priority,” he said.
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