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Gov’t dropped the ball on vaccine rollout- Hon Penn

- blames Gov’t for the low response to vaccination
In one of a series of press releases blasting the Andrew A. Fahie (R1)-led Government today, April 5, 2021, Leader of the Opposition Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8) said the public relations campaign around the vaccine and the roll out programme has proven a failure. Photo: VINO/File
In the Virgin Islands some 7000 persons have been administered a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Territory has some 32,000 doses of the vaccine but is struggling to get especially its locals inoculated. Photo: GIS/File
In the Virgin Islands some 7000 persons have been administered a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Territory has some 32,000 doses of the vaccine but is struggling to get especially its locals inoculated. Photo: GIS/File
On March 26, 2021, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) announced that a Community Outreach Committee has been formed and purposed to inform and educate all residents of the importance and benefits of being vaccinated. Photo: Facebook/File
On March 26, 2021, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) announced that a Community Outreach Committee has been formed and purposed to inform and educate all residents of the importance and benefits of being vaccinated. Photo: Facebook/File
The Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) received his first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on February 11, 2021. Photo: Facebook
The Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) received his first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on February 11, 2021. Photo: Facebook
EAST END, Tortola, VI- It is Easter Monday in the Virgin Islands; however, the Leader of the Opposition is not singing ‘He is Risen’ but rather his usual song that Government does not have a plan. This time it is regarding the rollout of the vaccine.

In one of a series of press releases blasting the Andrew A. Fahie (R1)-led Government today, April 5, 2021, Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8) said the public relations campaign around the vaccine and the roll out programme has proven a failure.

‘Ball was dropped’- Hon Penn

The Leader of the Opposition, who is currently in self-isolation for 10 days due to possible exposure to the virus, said the “Government has proven there is no plan in place” to safely navigate COVID-19 in the Territory and that the Government was well aware of the donation of vaccines and their expected arrival date, however, he said “the ball was dropped" and alleged that the public relations campaign ensued only after the arrival of the vaccine in the Territory.

“There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding the vaccine and getting vaccinated. This is a clear indication that a more in-depth conversation about the vaccine and its benefits to persons and the wider community is greatly needed,” Honourable Penn said.

Fact check

Government has been actively promoting vaccination in the territory, including by having medical personnel appear on various public forum, including on social media, to provide information about the vaccine as well as clear up misunderstandings about it.

It should be noted that it was on March 26, 2021, that Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) announced that a Community Outreach Committee has been formed and purposed to inform and educate all residents of the importance and benefits of being vaccinated.

While expressing his support for vaccination, the Opposition Leader said he recognises it is only one of many tools to fight COVID and rebound from the pandemic. He further added a strong educational campaign is needed to reach persons who may not be on social media or even tune into the various radio programmes.

“Lack of planning and policy continue to plague this Administration and while we recognise that the vaccine is not a silver bullet, it is imperative that a plan is put in place to live, work and manage COVID in our Territory,” Honourable Plenn said.

Noting the global shortage on vaccines, Penn said, “I am hopeful that our vaccines do not go to waste and we are able to utilise all of the donations received.”

Low response to AstraZeneca shots a worldwide problem

What Hon Penn failed to mention is that concerns surrounding the taking of the AstraZeneca vaccine are not limited to the Virgin Islands but are global, which has slowed vaccination programmes.

The European Union, for example, has had a bumpy COVID-19 vaccine rollout due to concerns about the vaccine before declaring it safe. 13 EU countries had decided to halt the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot while possible side effects were investigated.

More recently, several countries briefly halted their use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid safety concerns, a move that baffled health experts and raised questions about future uptake.

On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, Germany suspended use of the AstraZeneca shot in all citizens under 60, citing renewed concerns after a small number of reports of rare but serious blood clots. Earlier this week, some hospitals in Berlin had initially stopped vaccinating women under 55 with AstraZeneca’s shot.

Health officials in Canada last week suspended plans to give AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine to younger people over concerns it could lead to blood clots in rare circumstances.

It was another setback for Prime Minister Justin P. J. Trudeau’s vaccine effort, which is off to the second-slowest start among Group of Seven countries.

And the US has said it may not need AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine — even if the shot gets approved by federal regulators.

In an interview with Reuters, Dr Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the White House, said the nation already has enough contracts with other vaccine makers to inoculate the entire population.

US regulators had accused AstraZeneca of “cherry picking” data to make it seem like the shot was more effective.

Following public criticism, AstraZeneca said the data was based on a “pre-specified interim analysis,” and agreed to release an updated report.

The firm then released revised results showing a diminished, though still strong, efficacy for its inoculation.

In the Virgin Islands some 7000 persons have been administered a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Territory has some 32,000 doses of the vaccine but is struggling to get especially its locals inoculated.

26 Responses to “Gov’t dropped the ball on vaccine rollout- Hon Penn”

  • facts (05/04/2021, 12:34) Like (27) Dislike (7) Reply
    They say the devil never takes a day off!
    • @facts (05/04/2021, 23:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I like this commment very very much. It is spot on. The devil is a liar everyday even during Easter. Any opportunity to fool people this is it
  • Juggler (05/04/2021, 12:44) Like (10) Dislike (26) Reply
    This Gov't can only juggle 1 ball, they have dropped several balls over the last 2 years
    • @ juggler (05/04/2021, 13:39) Like (42) Dislike (7) Reply
      here you have an administration endeavoring to keep the territory afloat under extreme financial circumstances and the penn crew that intentionally miss managed the government treasury

      how come you only hearing from penn over the past 2 years maybe he is juggler like you because for 8 straight years cat cut his tongue
    • @ juggler (05/04/2021, 14:52) Like (24) Dislike (6) Reply
      Smurf will never be the premier with this anti bvi attitude
      • Lollabies (06/04/2021, 05:11) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
        Ain't it amazing that this guy sit for two previous terms as the incumbent and says nothing while his leaders did a cofeffee? Not a word on pier park millions? Not a word on the such wall? Not a word on CDs loans for roads and infrastructure? Not a word on the airplane or east end sewage debacle. Here he is as the head opposer and talking like a boss! Seems like he just come to maturity or is there someone pulling strings. Smh!
        • VI Gyal (06/04/2021, 09:06) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
          Do you hear other VIP members talking about their leaders work? Do you think they are all please? Ha!!!
  • A VOTER IN #6 (05/04/2021, 12:54) Like (36) Dislike (11) Reply
    PEOPLE IN THE EIGHTH DISTRICT PLEASE TALK YOUR REPRESENTATIVE THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE NEGATIVE.
    TELL HIM COME WITH SOLUTIONS.
  • Rasta Lives (05/04/2021, 13:23) Like (36) Dislike (7) Reply
    that elected member of government should be the last one to point a finger at the current administration. penn simply criticizes almost everything but bring no new ideas to the drawing broad. can someone kindly advise penn he is part of the 13 persons which we voted into political office to make decisions to move our communities forward. mr penn try move away from your style of political leadership like someone pulling your strings. as the new opposition leader you have a gloden opportunity to stand up for good leadership for our people. you are still affiliated with a political party that crippled our tax money for eight years so come up with positive input and stop complaining like a cry baby. the plane: the wall: the pier park: east end sewage(penn you dont have ground to stand on to continue being a political critic)
    • The Game is over (05/04/2021, 14:00) Like (28) Dislike (9) Reply
      Its time we put our communities our work places and our homes in the comfort of safety...people need to get vaccinated, nothing is wrong with the vaccine, I had it like 2 weeks ago i feel the same way i did before i took it....Be responsible, be selfless, do it for your community, your family and your country... I already see emoployers creating work place safety policy theough vaccination, because if you working for me and you come in contact with some one with the virus and I have to shut my entire office and operation down because of you and your refusal to get vaccinate,, , Causing my company thousands of dollars.. U have to start looking for another Job, especially if i keep asking you to get vaccinated and you keep ignoring me, saying i cant make you,,, You become a not just a safety risk, but a financial risk to my company....
  • Agree 100%.. (05/04/2021, 13:49) Like (17) Dislike (19) Reply
    Very poor planning,,. They should have had a registration campaign months before the vaccine arrive, name address contract info,,,,, Make it worst the people in the health department Who pushing the vaccine they themselves saying they not taking the vaccine,,, It's a lot of mix up,. I think Ministers are failing to convince staff in their ministry to take the vaccine, Then they trying to force it on other people,,,, Something is wrong with that picture,,,,
  • Ghut Man (05/04/2021, 14:53) Like (28) Dislike (1) Reply
    Marlon trying a thing but he is getting little or NO transient smh
  • musa (05/04/2021, 15:17) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now is the time we need to unite and put politics aside come up with plans , we all need to stop the hate and learn to appreciate .
    • @musa (05/04/2021, 17:22) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
      Marlon handlers will never let him put politics aside becsuse they want power at all cost to finish raid the Treasury.
  • Hear This (05/04/2021, 15:30) Like (3) Dislike (12) Reply
    Mr Penn is doing us a satisfaction. We should be glad he does not just go along to get along. Mr Smith seems somewhat the same. You still have to be yourself in situations.
    Now hear this; A astra zenaca manufacturer in Baltimore has recently close their plant because they contimated 15 million doses of the vaccine. Another company is now organizing to take over that plant. Can you imagine being closed down for such a great disaster? We were LUCKY to hear about that. Now where will that 15 million vaccines go? Or end up. No Company tossing that in the trash, there will be a Black market with that stuff soon. Just wait.
    • Reply (05/04/2021, 15:41) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Hear This, the company that contaminated the doses was Johnson and Johnson.
      We should all get vaccinated and this current surge would only be affecting travelers.
  • bullsh** (05/04/2021, 15:47) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply

    Mr malone mr penn and the situation of corvid agenda is a fool among a rock and between hard place. for the people.. let me tell u all something there going too little us in hell rigth before our own eyes if we all dont stand up against the wicked of men against humanity...

  • Focused (05/04/2021, 16:24) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    As the leader of the opposition marlon has a right to do his job. In previous years and under different administrations all the other opposition leaders did their jobs too. When all is said and done his efforts (like all the others before) will only serve to strengthen “good governance “. After all that’s what democracy is all about.
    • @ Focused (05/04/2021, 19:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      that the issues these modern day elected so busy looking personal stripes; me do this and its me that do that. the elected 40
      years ago looked out for the entire british virgin islands. arm in arm they moved the bird sanctuary forward and did so in love and harmony
  • Hmm (05/04/2021, 20:43) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    So how come they was vaccinated and still in isolation. Somebody please tell me why get a vaccine that's not fully tested or approved by FDA to still likely end up negative and isolated. Don't make sense to me, but to each their own, I for one is not putting that in my body no matter what.
  • stfu (06/04/2021, 01:20) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Marlon dont be an idiot. Everybody and their momma got a phone. Most people have a tv. There are credible information out there if you want to find it but when you have popular pastors talking $h!t about 5g and fake woke people with only an internet connection talking about Bill Gates this and that then you will have problems like this. The same idiots that finding these conspiracy theories picking and choosing what bull $h!t they want to believe. None of them know what’s in any of the treatments that their new born get or who own shares in them but they trust them because no idiot decide to make a YouTube video as yet. Soon they won’t be able to eat in peace because they can’t separate fake from truth.
  • Dancing in the sunshine (06/04/2021, 07:55) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    As the years passed by Hon. Penn is proving to the public that he is a politically bankrupt. I am calling on him to propose ideas or plans that can be implemented to improve the economic well being of the territory. If he cannot provide any then he should shut his mouth and let the country move on.

    While Penn is criticizing the government, the Caribbean and International organizations are commending the territory for the outstanding work being done to contain the Corona Virus. I wonder if he would criticize those persons who are commending the territory for the tremendous work being done to contain the virus and save lives
  • EEnder (06/04/2021, 09:08) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    Everybody had beat the NDP up for how they handled the Hurricane relief roll out, now it is VIP turn. These are things we were not prepared for. But I guess VIP is the best at everything they do. You bloggers amaze me.
    • @EEnder (07/04/2021, 08:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      The VIP administration is doing a great job with handling this unprecedented situation protecting its people lives which many major countries are still struggling with. Every second they are locking down. The problem here is if the people cannot get their own way then you are the worst person on the face of God green earth. How can you argue about there being no festival or not being able to fete and then in the same breath turn around and talking about you have no money. I understand that this is how some people make there money yes, but when is it that we had a people will be mature enough, responsible enough to see the bigger picture.
  • question (07/04/2021, 07:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    You are also an elected member, what have you done to push the vaccine roll-out? It will be interesting to see the statistics for the eight district which you lead. We can always say what others are doing wrong but find it hard to critique ourselves. I haven’t seen any vaccination campaigns in the 8th district, the roads remain the worst in the territory, what is being done in your district? Has grand plans, but yet nothing is done in your backyard and it is a mess. Charity begins at home.


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