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On hand to accept the second batch of AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK Government were Governor Andrew Pearce, Minister of Health Charles Kirnon, PS of Health Camille Gerald-Thomas, CMO Dr Sharra Greenaway-Duberry and Nurse Violet Brown. (File Photo)

Montserrat transfers 500 vaccines to Anguilla

Montserrat has sent 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Oxford AstraZeneca to the island of Anguilla to avoid wastage, ahead of their May 31 expiration date.

According to a Government Office release on Tuesday, “despite many appeals from community-based leaders, Government Ministers, Ministry of Health leaders and a rigorous communication campaign to encourage vaccine uptake, the Covid-19 vaccination programme on Montserrat has had a low uptake so far in comparison to other OTs and other countries with access to a significant supply of the vaccine.”

To date, the FCDO has provided a total of 5,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Montserrat, sufficient to vaccinate 70% of the adult population of the island.

The release stated that 39% of the target group has been vaccinated and registration has stalled.

“Due to the impending 31 May expiry date of the first tranche of vaccines supplied to Montserrat and the huge demand for vaccines across the UK family and globally, last week a decision was taken jointly by the MoHSS, Governor’s Office, FCDO and Business Enterprise Innovation and Science (who are responsible for the UK supply
of vaccines) to ensure these vaccines did not go to waste. Over the weekend 500 of these first tranche vaccines were therefore transferred to Anguilla to be used in their vaccination programme before expiry,” the statement read.
“The UK Government, the Governor’s Office and the Ministry of Health and Social Service could not in good conscience allow such a precious resource to go to waste.”
Monserrat still has left 2000 OAZ Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered to us in April with and expiration date of 31 July 2021.

The release noted that vaccination remains the key to beating COVID-19 that has killed and is continuing to kill hundreds of thousands across the world, and our return to normal vibrant life.

“We encourage everyone not let this opportunity to slip past us again. We will not be able to request a further supply of vaccines from the UK, when we have been unable to use what has already been supplied. Anyone who wishes to have a vaccine should contact the Vaccine Clinic without delay. This is for our own sake and that of our families and our whole community.”

Residents can visit any of the community clinics during operating hours to be vaccinated. No appointment is required.