The Falkland Islands Government is pleased to confirm that it is nearing completion of the rollout of its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme. 95% of those aged over 18 in the community has now received two doses of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine, providing an additional layer of protection against the coronavirus for the vast majority of the Falkland Islands population.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Beccy Edwards, said: “We have been incredibly lucky to receive enough doses to deliver our vaccination programme to all consenting adults aged 18 and above. While on paper our population is a small one, the logistics involved in vaccinating people living in very rural and remote locations have been challenging to say the least. We are very grateful to everyone who travelled to the Stanley Vaccination Centre to receive their jab and equally to everyone who provided such fantastic hospitality to the team who travelled around West Falkland and the Outer Islands. The Falkland Islands Government Air Service also bent over backwards to transport us and our vital cargo in all weathers, despite already being under their own operational pressures. Finally, massive thanks to everyone at KEMH who have performed double duties not just during the vaccination programme but since the pandemic began. We simply could not have achieved the successes we have had with the vaccines, swab testing and patient care, without their unrelenting hard work.”
In tandem with KEMH, British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) has been running a successful immunisation programme over the past four months, with over 1,000 members of the current population at Mount Pleasant Complex now vaccinated.
Finally, to ensure that all spare vaccine doses were utilised, KEMH has been in a position to offer vaccinations for crew members aboard three Falkland Islands flagged vessels. Director of Natural Resources, Andrea Clausen, noted: “It is great that we have been able to offer vaccines to some of our fishing crew, especially when it is more difficult for some to get access to vaccinations in their home countries. They form a vital part of our economy and, from an operational perspective, vaccinating of our fishing fleet is a priority.”
John Alexander Reid, Managing Director of Polar Seafish Ltd, added: “We were delighted to welcome the KEMH vaccination team onboard our fishing vessel Robin M Lee, where all 55 crewmembers opted to receive the vaccine, with the whole procedure taking just under two hours. We would like to thank KEMH for the very well organised, professional and speedy operation. Our crew were extremely grateful to be able to receive the vaccination. This will assist us in keeping our crew safe and healthy while we prepare for the next fishing season.”