A third and larger shipment of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine is due in Cayman from the UK on the British Airways flight arriving on February 11th.
This keeps pace with the high rate of vaccinations here as the voluntary COVID-19 inoculation programme continues apace.
Confirming this, HE Governor Martyn Roper said, “This time we have been able to secure more doses than the first and second consignments. The next consignment will consist of 15,000 doses. The third consignment will take us to a total of 38,000 doses, which will vaccinate close to 20,000 people.”
Mr Roper said his office “remains in touch with London about subsequent supplies on the next two BA flights in February and March.”
The previous two shipments averaged around 10,000 doses each.
Vaccine supply is one of the critical issues facing the global fight against the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus with supplies struggling to keep up with demand in some countries.
However, Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin has reassured that a supply shortage is not anticipated for Cayman.
“I am confident about supplies because I see how these things happen,” he said. “The current shortage of vaccines available globally is going to go away in a very short period of time as more and more are approved.”
He likened it to the supply challenges with obtaining test kits at the outset of the pandemic which are now widely available.
“No one talks about test kits and a shortage because everybody has access to them. That's what's gonna happen at the vaccine,” Mr McLaughlin said.
It was also confirmed that Cayman has chosen not to take up its share of the global COVAX vaccination distribution, but instead will allow its allocation to be shared with other countries facing challenges with their vaccine supply.
Premier McLaughlin has also spoken about the government having to adapt to changing circumstances in the management of the impact of the pandemic in Cayman.
“We really can't plan too far ahead because it's changing so fast. We just have to do the best we can given the particular circumstances. In another two weeks or three weeks we may well come here and say something significantly different if there are changes,” he stated.