According to data from Ministry of Health, 16,417 people have been fully vaccinated which represents roughly 55 percent of the population while 1,666 people have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine which is roughly 6.6 percent of people in the territory.
The Ministry is hoping that at least 22,500 people get vaccinated against the coronavirus which represents 75 percent of the population.
The territory currently has 21 active COVID-19 cases with 38 recorded deaths. The last person who died from the coronavirus was an elderly man. He died late last month and was said to have underlying issues.
In an interview with BVI News regarding the vaccination rate in the territory, Minister of Health and Social Development Carvin Malone said he is quite pleased with the uptake of the vaccine despite vaccine hesitancy amongst some people in the territory and globally.
He said some persons might be more accepting of the Pfizer vaccine which is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“We are currently accommodating people who want the Pfizer vaccine by allowing them to go to St John’s to be vaccinated. We are also getting our own fridge to store the Pfizer vaccines which the UK [United Kingdom] has promised to provide enough Pfizer doses to vaccinate the population,” Malone stated.
Malone also said that when children between the ages of 12 and 17 start getting the Pfizer vaccine, there will be a large increase in the vaccination rate in the territory.
The Pfizer vaccine has been deemed by health organisations across the world as the safest for children. He noted the territory needs approximately 4,000 more persons to reach the touted 75 percent for herd immunity and based on the response from citizens, it is achievable by early next year.
He also mentioned the various vaccine mandates implemented by countries such as the United States might play a key role in the territory’s efforts.
“We have to give our hats off and congratulate the persons who have taken the vaccine. We know it is an issue throughout the Caribbean and the world and we will always give credit where credit is due … For those who have not taken the vaccine, we will continue to encourage them,” the Health Minister said.
Since the start of the pandemic in March of last year, 2,765 COVID cases have been recorded in the territory while 2,706 people have recovered from the virus. There are no current cases of hospitalisation. More than 85,941 samples have been collected and 81,024 have been tested.