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80 Doses of AstraZeneca Arrive on Island

The Governor’s Office announced late Tuesday that 80 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine have arrived on island.

The small quantity is to facilitate the people who got their first dose of the vaccine in the final days at the end of July before it expired.

Governor Andrew Pearce said recently that residents would need to indicate their interest in being vaccinated by registering with the Ministry of Health.

Premier Joseph E. Farrell told members of the media Tuesday that the island had received 5000 doses earlier this year. This would have been enough to vaccinate 72.5% of the eligible population of 3,442 adults. However, vaccine hesitancy prevailed and to date Montserrat is recording the lowest rate of vaccinations among the British Overseas Territories.

Almost 2500 doses of the vaccine had to be sent to Anguilla and The Bahamas before they expired due to slow uptake here. Of the eligible population of 3,442, only 1462 people or 42.4% received a first dose. A total of 1368 or 39.7% have had both doses.

The arrival of 80 doses should allow for residents who were waiting for their second dose to receive it.

Premier Farrell said “Had we used up our quota, we would have been in a better position to request additional supplies but the situation at hand does not allow for a bold request to be made.”

The public is invited to contact the St. John’s Health Centre at 491-5218 to register their interest in being vaccinated.