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COVID-19 Has Killed 53 Unvaccinated People In The U.S. Virgin Islands: VIDOH

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Despite 12 Virgin Islanders dying from COVID-19 in the last 14 days, half the people in the territory still flatly refuse to take the vaccine that can limit the dangerous effects of the disease.

“After further investigating cause of death and ensuring notification of next of kin, the Virgin Islands Department of Health is saddened to confirm the territory’s fifty-second and fifty-third deaths related to COVID-19, the VIDOH said in a prepared statement. “The deceased are a 74-year-old male and a 68-year-old female. Both deaths were on St. Thomas.”

During Tuesday’s COVID-19 press conference, Territorial Epidemiologist Dr. Esther Ellis said that nine people had died from complications related to the virus in the past week. Since then, the department has announced three additional COVID-related deaths — including two that morning — bringing the number of deaths linked to the virus to a dozen.

Dr. Ellis urged Virgin Islanders to get vaccinated against the virus, pointing to the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine Comirnaty on Monday.

The medical doctor said of the 53 people who have died, none were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“With each death I am saddened. We can prevent more deaths by using the best tool we have against the virus, the COVID-19 vaccines,” Dr. Ellis said.

As of August 28, some 47.3 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands population had been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease, according to Dr. Tai Hunte-Caesar, the medical director of the VIDOH.

Some 49,919 people in the territory have been given two doses Pfizer’s Comirnity vaccine to date, according to Governor Albert Bryan.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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