Office of the Governor
Release Date:
Wednesday, 14 July 2021 - 7:33pm

Statement from Governor John Rankin CMG


14 July, 2021

Good afternoon to everyone in the British Virgin Islands

Today is a difficult day, as we see the continuing rise in cases of COVID-19 and now the very sad number of deaths in the Territory. I want to express my condolences to all of the families who have lost loved ones. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

This virus is indiscriminate of age, race, and health levels. It is clearly fast spreading and while some people are lucky enough to be asymptomatic, many will be ill, and some very ill, leading to hospitalisation and sadly in severe cases death.

I want to thank all of the hardworking and dedicated medical teams that are supporting those who are ill and also all those who are working in the vaccination centres at locations across the Territory to enhance your protection by getting vaccinated.

Medical experts, including Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronald Georges, and others that lead the Health profession here in the BVI, to the World Health Organisation and Public Health England all recommend that we get the COVID-19 vaccine, as a strong layer of protection against this terrible virus.

Here in the BVI we have the approved Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine. This vaccine, after 2 doses, is 92% effective against hospitalisation.

It considerably reduces the risk of getting COVID-19. It means there is much less chance that you will be hospitalised and it is proven to be almost 100% effective against severe illness.

If a fully vaccinated person catches Covid, they transmit much less virus to others. Along with other protocols of wearing masks, washing hands and remaining 6FT apart, this means when enough people are vaccinated, we will see a significant reduction in Covid transmission here in the BVI.

Indeed you will see that it is those countries across the world that have now achieved a high proportion of vaccinated residents, that are now starting to reopen.

I am pleased that the UK continues to support us here in the BVI. The UK Government has confirmed it will provide all the vaccines we need to ensure that all adults can have access to two doses. The UK is also sending 10,000 PCR tests and tomorrow we expect 15,000 Lateral flow tests to arrive.

As Governor, I and my office will continue to work with and support the Premier, the Health Minister and the Acting Chief Medical Officer and his team with all of their efforts.

Please do your part - I urge each and every one of you for all of our health, if you are able to, to please take the Vaccine.