GOVERNOR’S STATEMENT ON COVID-19 VACCINES

JUNE 30, 2021

Good day.

I’m speaking to you today because I’m concerned, worried about hearing about the further increase in COVID-19 cases here in BVI.

In recent weeks we have seen neighboring countries battling COVID-19, those who are not vaccinated become incredibly ill, have to spend time in hospitals and in medical facilities under real pressure from the number of people who need help. This virus affects everyone, regardless of age, race, level of fitness. Indeed in Anguilla, it is a young person of less than 30 years old very in shape who unfortunately ended up in the hospital.

I know there are a lot of stories about the vaccine. I thought it was helpful to provide some facts:

  • No vaccine will completely prevent you from getting a disease, and this vaccine is no different. But like other things we do, like tetanus injections, it drastically reduces the risk.
  • The Astra Zeneca vaccine ensures that if you are unlucky enough to catch Covid-19, it will prevent you from getting very sick – research indicates that it protects almost 100% against hospitalization.
  • Covid is highly contagious and the delta variant that has been found in neighboring countries is spreading rapidly among communities
  • The vaccine we have for BVI, the Astra Zeneca vaccine, significantly reduces the risk of transmission by almost 90%.

So, two doses of the vaccine will not only protect people from serious illnesses, but will also really reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

As the BVI opens its borders, we have to find a way to manage the risks and find a way to live safely with COVID in the territory.

I’m not a doctor, I’m your governor, so I understand that you might not want to hear my point of view, I understand that. But I urge you to listen to the doctors in the territory, who have all been fully vaccinated. They are the most qualified to advise all of us because they understand and review the science, monitor results, and manage risk.

We currently have good stocks of Astra Zeneca vaccine available in the BVI and I would like to encourage all of you, if you have not already done so, to truly consider that the time has come for your vaccinations. Please don’t wait and see, as this approach can unfortunately mean you or a loved one ends up in the hospital.

If you have your first shot on or before this Saturday, you can get your second shot before the end of July which will give you the best protection. But even having your first shot will still help protect you, your coworkers and families, and this wonderful territory.

So please take the jab, protect the BVI.