Vaccination programmes have proven to be one of the most successful public health interventions. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least 10 million deaths were prevented between 2010 and 2015 thanks to vaccinations delivered around the world. Many millions more lives were protected from the suffering and disability associated with diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, whooping cough, measles, and polio.
Asofthe29th November,accordingtoWHOreports,therehavebeenmorethan61.8millionCOVID- 19 cases and more than 1.4 million deaths globally since the start of the pandemic. Moreover, the pandemic is predicted to worsen exponentially over the next few months. Although Anguilla has had only six COVID-19 cases and no deaths thus far, the uncontained and increasing global spread of the virus means that Anguilla continues to be highly vulnerable to this deadly virus due to the increasing risk of importation and subsequent spread.
Despite these sobering statistics and grim reality, the world has also seen the advancement of several vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19 to Phase III human trials. Phase III is the last phase of proving that they work and that they are safe before they can be approved for public use. These large scale trials have been conducted in persons of many different ethnic and racial backgrounds on four continents simultaneously. The trials are now undergoing final review by independent regulatory authorities and it is expected that the introduction and distribution of these vaccines will be forthcoming in the upcoming weeks and months. It is hoped that this is a turning point in the pandemic through the reduction of the spread of this disease and loss of life.
On Thursday 26th November the Ministry of Health and Health Authority of Anguilla officials briefed Executive Council on plans for the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines in Anguilla.
The United Kingdom has made a commitment to incorporate Anguilla and the other overseas territories into the procurement for mainland UK. The Ministry of Health is grateful for the continued support received from the United Kingdom for the COVID-19 response.
For further information, persons may contact the Ministry’s hotlines at 476-7627, that is 476 SOAP or 584-4263, that is 584-HAND.