BVI News

It’s better to return our COVID vaccines than to let them expire

File photo of Premier Andrew Fahie and Governor John Rankin handling a box of vaccines.

Premier Andrew Fahie has said the government would rather return its COVID-19 vaccines to their original senders than have them expire in the BVI.

The Premier made the revelation in an April 8 national address. He said while some residents remain on the fence about taking the COVID-19 shots, some batches of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the territory are nearing their expiration date.

“Each supply that is currently on hand each has expiration dates, which is fast approaching.
We will continue to educate, and inform the public of the benefits and advantages of being vaccinated. Our lives, our health and our economy depend on what we all do,” Premier Fahie explained.

“What we will not do is allow our supply of vaccines to expire awaiting the decisions of some of the public. In this regard, a decision will have to be made whether or not the volume of vaccines that is at risk of being expired would have to be returned to the United Kingdom and/or Dominica.”

Recently, the government announced that the first batch of vaccines the BVI received in early February will expire before the end of the second quarter of 2021.

Do we want it or not?

To date, fewer than 10,000 persons have taken AstraZeneca jabs in the BVI.

And although the BVI has made down payments on COVID vaccines through the global COVAX facility, Premier Fahie said the government will reconsider taking these vaccines if residents continue to show scant regard for the vaccine.

“Our proactive steps in securing vaccines from COVAX in 2020 would have to be heavily weighed, in that: do we want it or not? If it is that we do it, will it work out well? But if it is that we do not want them, it would result in wasted resources,” Premier Fahie explained.

Already, Grenada is one Caribbean country that has made COVID vaccination mandatory for some persons working in the hospitality industry.

Mandatory vaccination not a route gov’t taking

However, Premier Fahie said mandatory vaccination isn’t a route his government is willing to take.

“I am aware that member states within the region are seeking to amend their public health laws to make it mandatory for some sector of employees to be vaccinated. It is not our intention to make it mandatory. I repeat, it is not our intention to make it mandatory, but it is our intention not to have the vaccines expire while in our possession if others can do with it,” the Premier said.

He added: “It is time for us to fully reopen our borders, reopen our ports, return to full-time schools. All these can be accomplished sooner, based on our decisions to vaccinate or not!”

“The most credible option to rebound our economy at this time is vaccines. This will ensure the safety of our people and the economy of the Virgin Islands as much as humanly possible,” Fahie further said.

The territory currently has the capacity to vaccinate at least 9,000 more people.

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82 Comments

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  1. Rubber Duck says:

    The government does need to take a stand on whether employers have the right to demand that all their employees be vaccinated. Particularly in the tourism business.

    Already hotels etc in Barbados and elsewhere are advertising that all staff are vaccinated.

    If hospitality industry workers are not vaccinated it will be the end of tourism in this country for years

    Like 52
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    • @RD says:

      Here we go again, don’t you have work to do? Nobody can force anyone to be vaccinated. The BVI Government is taking the right approach, those who want it, get it and let’s open the Territory. Tourism isn’t going anywhere whether vaccinated or not so stop talking nonsense. Once our borders are opened and the heavy protocols eased to be made more sensible the BVI tourism product can slowly get back to what it used to be.

      Like 27
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      • Thing of others says:

        Tourism might not be going anywhere but if you are your loved ones ends up with Covid and have underline illnesses do you really want to take the 50/50 change without the vaccine or stand a higher chance of surviving with the vaccine. We want the place to open up but don’t want to do what it takes for that to happen. BVI people Do your fact checks and then decide if you want to take the vaccine or pass you have a choice. To much fake news and conspiracies out there about the vaccines. the fact that the pandemic has not really hit home you we take it for granted but the minute it hits bet your last bottom dollar all the ones who say they don’t want the vaccine would be first in line trying to get it.

        Like 32
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        • wow says:

          if it wasn’t for force vaccination diseases like measles, polio etc. would have still been a MAJOR problem.

          Like 27
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          • ok says:

            ok but those r real vaccines

            Like 4
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          • Dig deeper says:

            Many diseases have declined and died out without vaccines. Healthy immune systems and sanitation is the reason. Vaccines are what is causing virtually 100% of current polio outbreaks in the world. Wake up and lean the truth instead of being deceived by Pharma!!

      • @@RD says:

        Soon travel magazines, newspapers, tv shows and websites etc will be running articles on where it’s safe to travel, where people are vaccinated and so on.

        You think this doesn’t matter?

        Like 23
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        • BUT says:

          The incoming tourists are the ones bringing the Covid.. Think about it! How dare they make us take the vax,because they want to come here, and THEY ARE WHO bring every strain of Covid available INTO THE BVI. WHY???: BECAUSE THE SO CALLED VACCINES ARE NOT REAL VACCINES.

          Like 14
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    • The Truth says:

      Well they were the ones yelling Open up, Open up! You would think they would be first in line for the jab.

      Like 28
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    • Choice says:

      The Govt needs give persons a choice – either have the AstraZeneca vaccine or stay in your home.

      Like 26
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    • Nah says:

      Yes return them back to the white master homelands. We don’t need their sickness and supposed cure. We stay closed and keep the virus out. My government will protect me and my family from oppression and slavery.

      Like 7
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    • freky says:

      its simple. Unless we vaccinate, few tourists will want to come. If i was a tourist, i would go somewhere safer.

      Like 11
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      • BS says:

        There are plenty in this world who aren’t falling victim to all the fear porn. There are plenty who will travel of restrictions are eased. Look at our own statistics. Nearly 200 recovered only 1 died and of it weren’t for restrictions and the lockdown and fear, she would still be alive. That is the truth!!

  2. 007 says:

    That is going to play well in the world and further advance the reputation of BVI.

    A backward nation of shootings, drug dealers and health hazards on legs.

    Like 41
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    • Fo tru says:

      We will do just fine thank you.

      Bush tea, a once a day smoke, and a cool drink is the only cure for us.

      Like 6
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      • A Virus Speaks says:

        Thank you brother for helping to make our work easier. In Africa our cousins Malaria and Ebola are very successful especially where there is no real medicine. Over there we have gotten life expectancy down to 50 and below. We are trying here too. Thanks for your help.

        Like 10
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  3. ok says:

    WE EAT AMERICAN FOOD SO WE WANT AMERICAN PRODUCTS

    Like 8
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    • Slim says:

      That’s why you are fat and unhealthy.

      Like 42
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      • Smh says:

        It have people fat and healthy too so please hold that thought.

        • A Virus Speaks says:

          We love you fat people. We eat up lots more of you than those thin folk. Get right in your fatty lungs and breed and multiply till they are full of us.

          • Anonymous says:

            Many of these comments are working well. They are keeping the tourists and their money away from the BVI. It doesn’t sound like they are welcome and these posts sure don’t sound like BVI love.

  4. What do you expect says:

    It is because of your government’s complacency that this has happened. There was zero to no education about this vaccine before it arrived. You said that you were not taking it and you are the leader of the country. When it came you oversaw a spectacle of a ceremony as MC like it was a joke. You didn’t take it while being MC for the speaker of the house who made it even more comical. This is serious business and you and your group of misfits turned it into a circus like you do with everything. Now the vaccines are about to expire you are moving the headless chickens you are trying to get people to take the vaccine.

    Like 40
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    • @what do you expect says:

      I don’t always support this Government but this is one time that no one with sense can blame the government. So don’t go there.

      Like 3
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    • Bully says:

      Stop the peer pressure to experiment with drugs. Premier should have stood his ground and not been pressured into taking the vaccine. I hope he arranged to get a saline injection. He clearly didn’t want to take it. Shame on everyone who pressured him!

  5. Mixed Bag says:

    Chile is ahead in terms of vaccinations. They are leading the way for the most vaccinated in Latin America. Despite 30% vaccination rate they have had to shutdown completely because they had an increase in COVID cases…including some who had been vaccinated.

    Was it the type of vaccine they used? Was the vaccine not effective against some of the variants of COVID? Was it the dosage? Unmasking the population too soon? So many questions the authorities have to answer.

    We have to be careful in BVI thinking that the vaccine is the only solution. I can still get sick from it I just won’t die or be hospitalised. That means COVID is around to stay for a long time even if we all get vaccinated as there are many strains not covered by the vaccine.

    Like 15
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  6. Belonger says:

    Don’t let it go to waste brother man.
    Give it as a gift to our Caribbean brothers and sisters. They would not forget your kindness.

    Like 31
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    • Her says:

      So Britain pays for inventing the medicine and ships the vaccines to us but we are too arrogant to appreciate them then we give them to other countries who are supposed to thank the BVI?

      Like 7
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  7. Careful ...... says:

    Babbling away like a new born baby that’s so blissfully ignorant of just about everything other than his own little world! We have had over of year of being bullied and battered by you and our regime and now you’re saying you don’t want to force anything on us? My God, you have no shame at all!

    Like 18
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  8. James says:

    How about giving us a choice between Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Moderna, Sputnik and others instead of only AstraZenca?

    Like 15
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    • Doctor No says:

      Why? Are you some kind of expert? Or just some idiot who reads internet clowns?

      The Results from all vaccines are similar and all are better than no vaccine.

      Like 15
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      • @ Doctor No says:

        And besides, we are getting the AZ for free from the UK. Any vaccine from the States would have to be paid for!

        Like 13
        • frankie says:

          i had the astra zeneca vaccine. i think im lucky to live in a country that has gotten the jabs from the uk. looking forward to next one! we should be grateful, not full of hate.

        • @Doctor No says:

          The UK is no longer giving the AstraZeneca vaccine to persons aged under 30 and other countries are following suit. So the BVI needs to get us an alternative as well, for the young persons, plus those (like me) who have been told by their doctor that they cannot take the AZ vaccine.

      • Real says:

        When u find the vaccine do tell for as i lnow its not a vaccine

        Like 1
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  9. BuzzBvi says:

    Wow, we are looking more and more like an uneducated, backwards Nation that has lost touch with the real world.

    Like 44
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  10. Agree says:

    Yes it is!

    Like 4
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  11. Usvi says:

    Send them to the USVI please via ferry. Oh wait, that’s still closed… sigh

    We will continue to distribute the vaccines to those who want them. We’re getting the vaccine tourists and they are spending so much MONEY here. Thanks for staying closed. Best year ever!

    USVI love

    Like 15
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  12. better yet says:

    Give them to all who were given stimulus and all your cronies

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  13. Poor Fahie says:

    I honestly don’t envy this guy – BVI has enough vaccines to achieve herd immunity and restart the economy, but the fine people of the BVI are shunning the vaccine while millions of people worldwide would kill to have vaccine availability.

    Sigh….

    Like 45
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  14. Truth says:

    There are 4 vaccinations currently being administered globally, 4 completely different makeups and efficacy rates. Yet, people are here trying to FORCE persons to take the only one available to us at this time, how? People have a right to choose! I am sure there are people that want the vaccine but are weary of the AZ vaccine. Once the other vaccines are made available through private doctors later in the year I am sure people will come forward to be vaccinated.

    Like 11
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    • smdh says:

      If you have only potatoes in your house, that’s what you eat. You don’t b***h about your neighbour having plantin and breadfruit.

      Like 21
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    • @ Truth says:

      Surely you mean wary, not weary!!!
      And why should people have the right to choose? They don’t have that right in other countries; you take what is given to help the whole country keep the virus at bay & get the economy moving!

      Like 13
    • Lodger says:

      I dont think other countries give people a choice of vaccine.

  15. SMH says:

    Did All who received their 1st dose eligible for their 2nd Shot? If these are within the amount of Vaccine doses, why not wait and see what happens? Why accepttance of large quantity knowing fully well that not every resident would be in favor of taking it.

    Like 5
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  16. The Nation says:

    Send them to SVG who has made it mandatory.

    Like 4
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  17. Next lock-down? says:

    It’s fine. Next lock-down, all the vaccinated people can move around, live normally, and continue to work, the unvaccinated can stay at home and be completely safe in their phobic bubble for 14 days… and no handouts from government!

    Like 25
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  18. U see that move ..there speak volumes says:

    Andrew mean good to us but u see that the problem is he got to much sheep around him …in his admiration…sowanda..marlone the biggest and longest tail …them two ….I can clearly see …the last one mentioned need to be watched by the big dog …yes his g***d is too much overwhelming..that a recipe’s for disaster…hmmm

  19. YES says:

    take them M S back we dont want them ..hell with u all and mr ranking why u dont catch the train one time and save us some money..take mathew as well …we going put Collin on the next plane in a minute…

    Like 2
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  20. Time says:

    You can keep the centre’s open until 6pm on some days this allows for persons to take it after work.

    Like 10
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  21. Shame and disgrace says:

    It didnt had to come to this…This is so shameful.. its a disgrace that we have to send vaccine back when we need them…Honestly in my business all my workers have to be vaccinated, or they take vacation,,, No one can tell me how to run my business..I invest my money and provided Jobs, they will not hold my business hostage…No vaccine, take your vacation and an extra month without pay..

    Like 7
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  22. Anonymous says:

    That would be a shame if they were to expire so give a deadline to take them and ship them out ASAP.

    • Lodger says:

      You ever hear of a pharmacy taking back unused medications? Of course not. Nor will a country. If you try to send them back to UK they will think we have gone collectively mad and that will be the end of any aid.

      Like 4
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  23. Hmmnnnn says:

    Imagine this government was trying to make the UK look bad by complaining that the second batch ain’t reach on time; but now they have to return….can’t say say enough ….

    Like 9
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  24. Tim says:

    We have seen this debate in these discussion groups for a very long time. All those conspiracy theories about white man trying to inject something in their blood …

    Always thought its few crazy people but …

    It’s not. The numbers do show that majority of the people of the BVI are not taking the vaccination.it a fact.

    That one single measure that the people of the BVI can do and not be dependent on a useless gov and they are doing nothing about it.

    what does it say on the people of the BVI?

    There are many countries that are failing to administrate the vaccines due to supply or logistics issues (yes, failed Gov are everywhere)

    The BVI is the only country I know that have the supply but it’s the people who refuse to corporate and take active role in improving their and their countryman’s their life and get back to normalcy …

    Instance … this reflects a much larger underlying issue with the society of the BVI it just happen to show its head in this case. I don’t know if its racism, uneducated, lack of care to others, stupidity … no idea but you need to investigate and ask yourself some hard, hard question on why this is so ….

    given those are the people, not sure why anyone would expect the Gov will be any better, after all they are the people of the BVI.

    Like 12
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  25. Good face to world bvi says:

    Strupes to the n drop. You can’t hide a nation of fools from today’s press. Congrats. The idiots that propagate mistruths and this voodoo stupidity on modern science telling all the world travelers that we are a land of close minded fear mongers and conspiracy theorist thinking white man is trying to trick us. White man 90% of our business. Kill it in finance and tourism for all.

    Mark these words. 1/4 or more of private jobs will be destroyed for decade with some more months of this stupid, paranoid shine to the world. Translate, 2000 jobs + gone.

  26. Shocking says:

    Rewind 8 months and everyone desperate for a solution, we finally have one and people are turning it away- mind boggling. This blood clot business is ridiculous and occurs no more than in unvaccinated people. There won’t be a normal until people get their shot, it’s that simple

    Like 7
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  27. MD says:

    The U.S.A has vaccinated about 180 million citizens of all races with at least the first injection. The daily deaths are only 30% of what they were one year ago and are now only slightly more than the last bad influenza season in 2017-18. Herd immunity is rapidly approaching and life is rapidly going back to normal and people are traveling and planning vacations. If you are vaccinated, the CDC recommends no need to quarantine even when you are in close contact with an infected person such as a spouse. A vaccinated person is no threat to the BVI, especially if more than half the BVI population is also vaccinated. Take the USVI as your best example of balance between disease mitigation and keeping the economy going. I know many people in the BVI that are suffering economically and for their sake, and many others who depend on tourism that the country re-opens and its citizens are mostly vaccinated.

  28. Going to say it anyway says:

    THE PEOPLE THAT REFUSE TO TAKE THE VACCINE, PUT THEM IN ISOLATION AT HOME, THEY LEAVE THEIR HOME, PUT THEM IN JAIL. UNLESS THEY HAVE VALID PROFF AND AN EXPLANATION AS TO WHY THEY ARE NOT TAKING THE VACCINE, LET THEM STAY ISOLATED AT HOME.

    Like 6
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  29. Tim says:

    This should be the sign to reopen..

    The measurement for opening up is:

    From the moment any adult who is interested in taking the vaccination, have free access to such vaccination.

    The bvi got to that point where very few nation did.
    Anyone who needs /want vaccine – have access to one.

    Now open up. Those who do not want vaccine for what ever reason, cannot hold the island as hostage…

    Announce a date and move forward…

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  30. WEW says:

    Better to USE them ! Don’t want to hear all the pissing & moaning when there’s a surge leading to another shut down and deaths.

  31. Port opening...wtf says:

    Why are the ports opening before anyone has gotten their second shot? I got my shot day one, government pushed second shot back, now it will not happen till the end of April.
    If you don’t want to get vaccinated that’s cool with me, but keep me safe until I get the stupid 2nd shot!!!!
    Anyone got their brains turned on!?

    • Truth Be Told says:

      Set a idiot here in the BVI…You stores giving it discounts to people who wants to take the vaccine…But when people hungry, brokes and lost their jobs you aint assisting…A woman was so desperate that she walked out of the store with a cart full of groceries. That was a definitely cry for help…keep your discount…sick of you all.

      Like 1
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  32. How about helping others? says:

    Send to St. Vincent. They could use the help.

  33. hhmmmm says:

    OPEN BVI

    WE DONT CARE ABOUT UNVACCINATED RESIDENTS. LET THEM SUFFER.

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