Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said he is pleased that although vaccination continues to be optional in the VI, residents are choosing to be inoculated.
“Today I am happy to report that we have 60.6% of our people have already taken their first jab and I celebrate them and we have 55.3% of our population that has taken both of the jabs and is fully vaccinated, we are getting there.”
“We have not made vaccines from this government mandatory but we strongly encourage it. We have to push harder,” Premier Fahie said at the official reopening of Taddy Bay Airport on Virgin Gorda on November 23, 2021.
Meanwhile, the Pfizer vaccine, as well as booster shots against COVID-19, will be available in the Virgin Islands in December 2021, Premier Fahie announced.
“Before the year’s end Pfizer will be in here,” Premier Fahie said, adding that booster shots for residents will also be available.
The UK medicines regulator in September 2021 approved the use of Pfizer and AstraZeneca as Covid booster vaccines.
In many countries, the criteria for the AstraZeneca booster shot has been widened to include all eligible persons, 18 years and older.
Previously, the booster was only given to individuals 70 years and older, immunocompromised persons, as well as to frontline and healthcare workers.
With the same breath, Premier Fahie called on persons to remain vigilant and adhere to the established protocols to keep them safe from the virus.
“Let’s not get careless. I do see some slacking off with the wearing of masks, I do see some slacking off in certain areas. You have to adhere to the protocols, we all have to adhere to them because this country is not shutting down again, you will get shut down, but we not shutting down! Full speed ahead.”
He reminded persons that the government has spent over $150 million in this COVID-19 fight and “everything that could have been done has been done with God’s help, everything that could have been provided has been provided with God’s help.”
“We cannot take retrograde steps. We ask everyone to get vaccinated, we ask everyone if you are not being vaccinated to take care of your immune system and we cannot let persons who are going to be careless hold our economy hostage!”