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VI shortens time for AstraZeneca second dose to 4-8 weeks apart

VI shortens time for AstraZeneca second dose to 4-8 weeks apart

Health Officials in the Virgin Islands (VI) have shortened the 10–12 week intervals for the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 4 to 8 weeks, as the current stock of vaccines near expiration.

Information coming out of the Ministry of Health suggests the adjustment will ensure that as many residents as possible can be fully vaccinated before its stock of AstraZeneca vaccine expires by its end of July expiration date.

4 to 8-week interval will still generate enough antibodies - Dr Potter


Chief Medical Officer, Dr Irad Potter said that although the AstraZeneca vaccine produces a greater antibody response within a 10 to 12-week dose interval, a 4 to 8-week regime will still meet the threshold for full vaccination status.

Persons who have not yet received their first dose of the vaccine are being encouraged to do so up until Friday, July 2, 2021, to guarantee a second dose.

“Arrangements for the shipment of additional doses have not been confirmed due to various constraints affecting the global supply of AstraZeneca vaccines. Cold chain and logistics requirements that limit the Territory’s access to other approved COVID-19 vaccines add to the uncertainty of future supply,” the Health Ministry said in a release.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Irad Potter said that although the AstraZeneca vaccine produces a greater antibody response within a 10 to 12-week dose interval, a 4 to 8-week regime will still meet the threshold for full vaccination status.


Discussions ongoing for more vaccines


Dr Potter noted; however, discussions are ongoing with Public Health England and the COVAX Facility regarding vaccine supply to the Territory and he promised to provide more information once agreements have been finalised.

He said that in light of stringent manufacturer requirements, the onward transportation of vaccines from the VI to another country may not be feasible, as such, residents are being encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity while supplies last.

According to the lastest update from Government on May 31, 2021, some 17, 866 vaccines have been administered in the VI. 11, 917 have received a first dose and 5,949 have received both of their shots.

Information on vaccination locations can be found via the Registration forms located at the following link https://ministryofhealth.gov.vg/vaccines.

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