The United Kingdom government will be covering all expenses associated with any negative side effects suffered by BVI residents who opt to take the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
This is according to the Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronald Georges, who made the disclosure during a recent interview with JTV News.
Dr Georges said that under the present vaccine procurement agreement between the UK and the BVI government, the UK has agreed to cover all medical expenses that stem from any side effects linked to taking the vaccine.
“In delivering the vaccines to us, the UK has looked at some of these issues. So there is an indemnification that the UK government is providing for these types of issues. What that is, is that they are looking at the potential for risk and they the UK are covering it, because those are some of the conditions under which the vaccine is procured and is also being distributed,” Dr Georges exolained.
“So that indemnification that the UK gives to its own citizens in the UK is extended to the British Virgin Islands as well,” Dr Georges added.
Programme to monitor all side effects
The Acting CMO also said a monitoring system will be in place where all side effects of the vaccine can be reported and channelled to the requisite institutions.
“With the roll-out of a vaccine programme and a regular expanded programme of immunization, we monitor side effects, so you have a range of potential side effects with vaccines from ‘very, very mild’ to ‘potentially severe’, and there is a whole system of monitoring all of them. So that is in place and of course, [it] has to be expanded greatly for COVID vaccines because we are looking at the large numbers,” he stated.
“These events are reported to WHO, to CARPHA, to PAHO and there are also reported to the vaccine manufacturer. So there is a system in place for the monitoring of potential adverse reactions — all types of them — and this here will be expanded for this programme,” Dr Georges added.
Just last Thursday, February 4 the territory received the first batch of 8,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the United Kingdom government.
According to the Health Minister Carvin Malone, the vaccine will be distributed in phases, with the first set of eligible persons being frontline workers and the most vulnerable category of residents.
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