Speaking at yesterday’s February 4, 2021, arrival of the vaccines at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, Hon Malone said the public relations work for nationwide vaccination has also commenced.
“There is a public relations campaign. The Chief Medical Officer has been working steadily getting the committees to meet and we are pleased, and you would hear there will be a ramp-up of this so to speak… getting this done,” Hon Malone said.
“We have to get all, if not most, if not all of the population vaccinated so that we can then move the process forward that we've been working on for the past 10 to 11 months,” he added.
New Governor John J. Rankin, CMG has hit the ground running alongside VI’s Health Minister Malone and Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1), expressing delight at the arrival of the jabs.
“I'm delighted the vaccine has arrived here to help BVI and I think this could be a real game-changer, it’s a very effective vaccine, it’s a safe vaccine to protect people against the virus and the evidence also it will prevent people transmitting it to others,” he said.
“I believe by having an effective vaccine rollout with this, many people as possible receiving the vaccine can help our frontline workers, can help the older population, it can help the tourism economy get back on his feet, so it's a real sign of complete partnership [with the UK],” Governor Rankin went on to say.
He also vowed to work alongside Premier Fahie and local health officials to make sure the vaccination process is effective.
It was also disclosed that Governor Rankin and Hon Malone will be the first to be vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca shots.
Meanwhile, healthcare & frontline workers will be at the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccination, as announced by the Health Minister in a statement on February 4, 2021.
After healthcare and frontline workers, phase two of vaccination will be focusing on people with underlying conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID-19 disease or death, and persons over 60 years of age.
Phase three will cover essential workers at high risk of exposure; such as teachers, school staff, workers and persons in care homes, shelters, prisoners and prison staff, along with hospitality workers; and phase four will cover young adults and finally, phase five will focus on all remaining residents in the territory.
AZD1222, known as the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine among others, is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca given by intramuscular injection, using as a vector the modified chimpanzee adenovirus ChAdOx1.
One dosing regimen showed 90% efficiency when a half-dose was followed by a full-dose after at least one month.