CHRISTIANSTED — At the weekly COVID-19 press conference held at Government House on St. Croix, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Esther Ellis said this afternoon that when the United States government delivers vaccines to the territory, the U.S. Virgin Islands will only receive 975 doses from Pfizer.
Additionally, those first doses of the coronavirus vaccine are earmarked for “critical care” workers in the territory and first responders, along with immune-compromised people, the elderly and the homeless, Dr. Ellis said.
The “regular” citizens of the U.S. Virgin Islands can look forward to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine “sometime in the spring” of 2021, according to Dr. Ellis, adding that the vaccine will first be delivered to St. Croix.
The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at the ultra-cold temperature of -70°C, according to Fortune magazine. That means the vaccine must be kept in specialized freezers that cost as much as $20,000 each.
Two “hubs” on St. Thomas and two hubs on St. Croix will have the specialized refrigeration units installed for storage of the Pfizer vaccine, according to Dr. Ellis.
Once the vaccine is on St. Croix, it will be delivered to the three remaining hubs for storage of the vaccine, she said.
The vaccine will have to be delivered on a daily basis to six health care providers on St. Croix and St. Thomas who will then administer the vaccine to critical care workers and first responders.