The Health Minister made the announcement on December 17, 2020, during a COVID-19 update to the territory where he assured that the Ministry of Health and its stakeholders will immediately begin the mammoth task of planning for the introduction of the vaccine in the Territory.
“Given the lack of access to the BVI by direct flights and consequent transit times together with the specific cold chain requirements, efforts will focus on the AstraZeneca vaccine which is compatible with our current cold chain and logistics for management of vaccines through the Territory’s expanded programme of immunization,” Hon Malone said.
“This will include the involvement of multiple stakeholders from the public, private, and non-government sectors coupled with a significant health promotion effort.”
He said, however, that authorities are also well aware that there are many misconceptions, myths and untruths surrounding COVID-19 vaccination, all of which will need to be addressed in the coming months.
Further, Hon Malone said that the Health Ministry has signed on to the WHO GAVI Covax initiative which gives eligible countries access to COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to UK commitment to provide the territory with access to more COVID-19 vaccines.
“The public can rest assured that the vaccine will be offered on a voluntary basis with best efforts to provide adequate information for persons seeking vaccination. As we advance our plans more information will be forthcoming to the public with regards to COVID-19 vaccination,” Hon Malone said.