26 March 2021

The Falkland Islands receive third batch of Covid-19 vaccines

The Falkland Islands Government has received a third batch of Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines, supplied by the UK government. These 4,240 doses arrived last night and will be rolled out as part of the nationwide vaccination programme which has been running since 8 February 2021.

To date, 1,787 people in the local community have received their first vaccination, most of which have been administered at ‘Stanley Vaccination Centre’ – a temporary facility housed in the Falkland Islands Defence Force headquarters. British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) has also vaccinated over 400 military and civilian personnel with a first dose.

Efforts across the Islands have been supported by a mobile service, which has used the Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) to reach more rural areas, including Camp and the Outer Islands.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Beccy Edwards, said: “I would like to thank, again, all of the people who have come together and pulled out all of the stops to make the vaccination programme such a success – it has truly has been a team effort from start to finish. The arrival of this third batch means we should be able to immunise the vast majority of our adult population, which would be an incredible achievement, and one that we are extremely grateful for.”

MLA Leona Roberts agreed: “I know I speak for the whole of the Falkland Islands when I express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to everyone involved in securing the vaccines for us. We have an incredibly hardworking local hospital, but it is only one hospital for the whole of the Islands which, in the event of an outbreak, could easily become overwhelmed. For us the vaccine means reassurance – reassurance that our people and our vital services will now have an extra layer of protection. We also continue to keep our friends overseas – from our neighbours in South America, to loved ones back in the UK – in our thoughts and hope that it is not too long before vaccination programmes worldwide can provide the same reassurance for the global community.”

His Excellency, Governor Nigel Phillips CBE, said: “I am grateful once again for the UK Government’s support to the Islands in facing the pandemic. I am also grateful for how the Falkland Islands Government has deployed that support to such good effect. None of us here is in any doubt regarding how precious a gift it is that the Islands have avoided community transmission of the disease. The day will come when together we overcome a scourge that has blighted so many lives; until then, we fight on.”

The arrival of this batch coincides with the rollout of the second dose for people who have received their initial vaccination. Therefore, plans for the further stages of the vaccination programme, using the latest batch, will be communicated to the public in due course.