On Tuesday of this week, Cayman hit an important milestone as “a further 431 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine. This brings the total number of people vaccinated in the Cayman Islands to 5,339.”
Passing the 5,000 marker means that residents are turning out in their numbers to be vaccinated against this deadly virus.
By Tuesday, 5,339 of us had rolled up our sleeves to take the jab that not only protects us from the virus but is a safeguard for our loved ones, those we come into contact with and the wider community.
We are still learning about this marauding, invisible assailant that randomly picks its victims, oftentimes with devastating consequences; death or the debilitating effects of what we now know as ‘long COVID’.
That Cayman has used up more than half of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines provided by the British government is an effort worth reflecting on especially as it comes in the week when the United States passed 400,000 deaths from the rampaging virus, and the UK passed 90,000 lives lost.
Another consignment of 9,750 doses are expected towards the end of this month and a further shipment by mid-February as the national voluntary vaccinations programme continues its successful roll-out.
Despite some ‘vaccine hesitancy’, it’s commendable and a sign of how seriously the Cayman community is taking the challenge of keeping COVID-19 at bay - setting an example for others to follow.
There will be some rule-breakers in the minority but they are overshadowed by the extent of compliance and the sheer volume of uptake of the vaccine in the rest of the community.
At the rate that sleeves are being rolled up to take the jab, the authorities might wish to consider further streamlining the present system out of concern that risks becoming overwhelmed as the campaign widens to other stages and age groups.
Having persons pre-booked for their inoculation could better take some of the pressure off some clinics which are straining under the weight of demand while others are much less congested.
It also allows for better planning for both the health staff administering the vaccines and residents turning up for their jab.
We’ve already seen one practical change where the original plan of spreading the initial shipments across two doses is now being adjusted so that more people receive the first dose given the global demand on supply and its effect on the production of the vaccine.
And the effort must also continue to allay the concerns by those persons who are reluctant to take the jab by constantly reassuring them that the vaccine is safe, and that the benefits far outweigh any perceived risks, many of which are shrouded in myths and misinformation.
Cayman is playing its part in what is the biggest vaccination campaign in history.
The World Health Organisation reports that over 46 million doses have already been administered in 51 countries. That includes Cayman’s over 5,000 and counting.
Let’s get on with the jab.