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Finally! UK to deliver on 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccines

Finally! UK to deliver on 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccines

After much private and public pressure, the United Kingdom (UK) will finally be delivering on its promised second batch of AstraZeneca vaccines.

Word reaching our newsroom from our sources in the Governor’s Office is that the shipment from the United Kingdom (UK) is scheduled to arrive at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island at 8:00pm tomorrow night, March 17, 2021.

Sources in the Governor’s Office were happy to leak this story to our news site after Government officials in the Ministry of Health and others close to the Minister said that the UK had changed their date on the arrival of the vaccines for almost 3 times and had almost compromised the health of persons requiring the second dose.

The Virgin Islands has received its first shipment of roughly 8000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the United Kingdom on February 4, 2021, however, the promised second batch initially scheduled to arrive on March 3, 2021, is yet to arrive.


National vaccination programme interrupted over UK delay


The uncertainty over when the promised second batch of COVID-19 vaccines would arrive in the Virgin Islands (VI) from the UK, causing a brief pause to the vaccination programme in the territory.

The first batch of 8000 units of vaccines arrived in the VI on February 4, 2021, and Governor John J. Rankin, CMG had promised the VI that the second dose would arrive in the VI on March 3, 2021; however, that did not happen and there was no explanation.

When asked by the Ministry of Health and Social Development for an update, the same Governor promised a new date of March 15, 2021. It left the Government of the day in a dilemma as to whether or not to vaccinate the residents with the remaining four thousand doses of the eight thousand, knowing that it’s a two-shot dose arrangement.

On Sunday, March 7, 2021, the Virgin Islands received 2000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for immediate distribution from the Government of Dominica. Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, and Health Minister Hon Carvin Malone (AL), right, were present at the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island to receive the shipment.


VI received 2000 doses through COVAX


Again, Governor Rankin assured the Government that the second dose is on the way. Recently, he again changed the date for the arrival of the second dose of vaccine to March 17, 2021, undermining the trust of the people in the UK's ability to gift the territory with anything.

The delay of the vaccines had caused a pause in the territory’s COVID-19 vaccination programme; however, after the VI received some 2000 doses of the vaccines from Dominica via COVAX, thanks to foresight by the Andrew A. Fahie-led Government, the programme resumed.

It is also alleged that Governor Rankin had even tried to stop the order placed by the Fahie government with COVAX.

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