Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
The first voyage of the British Virgin Islands-United States Virgin Islands Vaccination Bubble initiative set sail to St. John on August 3 with 59 passengers, 33 of whom were children.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie thanked the Governor of the US Virgin Islands, Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone and the entire health team that made the initiative possible.
"As as a Government, we remain committed to ensuring that persons have access to additional brands of vaccines through the vaccine bubble initiative. We also wanted to start with the children because the more children we have vaccinated, the better it is for us to startegically work towards reopening schools.” Premier Fahie said.
Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone re-affirmed his commitment to providing opportunities to get persons vaccinated.
“We want to make sure that everything is done to get the population immunised. Vaccination saves lives and we want to make sure that persons are protected from this deadly disease. COVID-19 has taken the lives of too many of our people and our hearts and prayers goes out to all those who have suffered the loss of loved ones,”Honourable Malone stated.
Parents of children who were vaccinated also spoke of the importance of this initiative.
“I think it was a very good idea for them to have done this. Both me and my wife are vaccinated, and we felt uncomfortable that our son was not vaccinated so when we heard about this initiative we were quite excited. COVID-19 is very dangerous, people are dying and I cannot bear the thought of something like that happening to my family,” one parent said.
Another parent commented, “It is great that we are able to get our children that are 12 years and older vaccinated. It is a great initiative, and it is very well organised.”
A concerned single parent said, “I am thankful for this opportunity that the children can get vaccinated. My reason for taking them, first of all, my son has asthma, and anyone would know that COVID-19 is not going to play with people with underlying conditions as well as my concern for them getting back into school." He added, "I think that it is a very good initiative that the Government has put in place for us, they waved all the fees and it is a nice, quick and easy process.”
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Honourable Kye Rhymer also was a part of the team that represented the Government.
Honourable Rymer said, “It is a great initiative. It is a collaborative effort by the Governments of the BVI and USVI. I thought it was necessary to have Government representation, so I am going to accompany them to get a full appreciation of the process."
The available vaccines from the USVI are the Pfizer and the Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Persons interested in participating in the vaccination bubble Initiative, can do so by completing the Registration form available on the Government’s website, and email it along with the supporting documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 852-7525 from Monday thru Friday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to improving the health and well-being of the people of the Virgin Islands.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Photographs attached of the first cohort of residents of the BVI-USVI Vaccination Bubble Initiative.