The controversial vaccine for COVID-19 could be available in Bermuda as soon as next month, according the Minister of Health, Kim Wilson.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday (Nov 10) the Minister said the island’s supply would come from the UK, which will share some of their supply with British Overseas Territories.

Local officials are also looking to secure supplies from the Covax facility through the Pan-American Health Organisation.

When the vaccine becomes available, Ms Wilson said healthcare workers and Bermuda’s more vulnerable residents will be the top priority.

She also stated that there are currently no plans to make taking the vaccine mandatory.

No decision has been made on what it will cost to get the shot at this point in time.

Another case of COVID-19 on island was recorded in Bermuda this week – this time, from an American Airlines flight from Miami, which arrived here on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 215.

The passenger, a returning resident on AA308, tested positive on arrival, and had no pre-departure test, out of the 811 test results received by the Ministry on Tuesday.

There are currently 23 active cases under health monitoring but none of them are in hospital.

To date, all present cases are imported, and the island’s status remains listed as “sporadic cases”.

Meanwhile, Premier David Burt issued another reminder for residents to be vigilant about quarantines when it comes to students returning home from England or the United Stated for the holidays.

“We must ensure that travellers do not endanger our seniors and other vulnerable people,” he said.

“Locally we have seen an increase in imported cases and we are on the lookout for any possible local transmission.

“We do not yet have any confirmed cases of local transmission, despite extensive testing of close contacts of important cases, however it is foolhardy to think that it will not happen.

“We have had good results and consistent performance when it comes to ensuring that travellers do not lead to local transmission. However, we still have to do our part; wear masks, wash hands frequently, and be very careful when we are indoors sharing space with people who we do not live with. It is important to note that in many jurisdictions, it was not large events that drove the spread, but a series of small events,” he added.

“To reiterate, vigilance must be the watchword as we enter this period of arriving tourists and returning residents. We must ensure that travellers do not endanger our seniors and other vulnerable people; we have come too far to allow carelessness to erase or undermine our success in keeping Bermudians relatively COVID-free.”