Milestone 1,000th COVID-19 Vaccine Administered by Red Hook Family Practice 216 Shots in One Day Thanks to Island Green, Church Leaders & Volunteers

St. John, USVI – February 15, 2021 – Saturday, February 13th marked the 1,000th COVID-19 vaccination administered by Red Hook Family Practice, an important milestone in protecting the USVI community. In addition, another record was established by Red Hook Family Practice, with the vaccination of 216 residents on Saturday on St. John. An initiative to accelerate “shots in arms” and educate the community on the importance of vaccines is being organized by Island Green Living Association board members David DiGiacomo, Akhil Deshwal and Harith Wickrema with the leadership of Red Hook Family Practice’s Maggie Day.

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. John and St. John church leaders including the Rev. Anthony Abraham of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church have been essential in educating their congregations on the program.

Governor Bryan extended his support for the large scale community vaccination program on St. John thus allowing it to move forward, with the first event taking place on the grounds of Gifft Hill School Upper Campus on the 13th.

“If we are to fully reopen our economy by achieving herd immunity, it is critical we have mass scale vaccinations,” said Harith Wickrema, president of Island Green and one of the leaders of the effort. “With the eligibility extension to all workers with face-to-face contact with the public along with those 65 and over, high risk individuals and essential frontline workers, our goal is to eventually provide protection for all. We are a small community and we have a track record

of looking out for each other. Island Green receives tremendous support from the community and this is our way of giving back.”

Maggie Day, Manager of Red Hook Family Practice praised the efforts: “I’m in awe of the promotion, appointment and reminder protocol, communication and scheduling of the volunteers, the quality of the reception crews, flow monitors, sanitizers and parking directors, food donations and data entry teams! We are also so grateful for the generous assistance of Principal Mills and the Gifft Hill School family, we just couldn’t have asked for more.”

In addition to administering the 1,000th vaccine, another record was established by Red Hook Family Practice, with the vaccination of 216 residents on Saturday on St. John. The success of the event was due to establishing protocol and following it, including calls by volunteers the night before to reconfirm all appointments.

Not a single dose went to waste as there was a standby list to make up for any no- shows.

Students of Gifft Hill School will help spread the word on the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations as part of a public health education initiative being sponsored by Island Green. Led by Director of Curriculum Liz Kinsella, students in grades 3-12 will make posters, pamphlets, and infomercials to help raise public awareness about COVID-19 safety measures including masking, hand hygiene, social distancing, and vaccines. The project is an example of the interdisciplinary, community oriented activities the school values. Students will combine research skills, science content, current events, and multimedia art and technology skills to produce their entries for the contest. All participating grade levels will be recognized with class pizza parties courtesy of Island Green Living. Island Green hopes to extend this program territory-wide.

Island Green and Red Hook Family Practice encourage eligible community members to preregister for future vaccination days at https://hipaa.jotform.com/210043527588860. Further information is available by calling 340-423-8107 or sending an email to vaccinestj@gmail.com. The next vaccine day is February 27 at Gifft Hill School. Prior registration and appointments are required.

Established in 2004, Island Green Living Association is a registered 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization on St. John dedicated to sustainability throughout the USVI. www.islandgreenliving.org.

Read the full press release here.

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