The Cayman Islands National COVID-19 Vaccination Plan will be rolled out from this Thursday January 7th.
The first injections will be administered to senior officials including HE Governor Martyn Roper, Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin and Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee who have volunteered to roll up their sleeves to take the first shots.
Following them, the remaining doses from the initial shipment of 9750 doses will be administered to residents on a voluntary basis in three stages.
This initial shipment is enough to inoculate 4,875 persons against the COVID-19 virus.
Stage One of the vaccination programme will divide the population into three priority groups; A, B and C.
Group A comprises residents and staff of institutional facilities, persons over 70 years old, healthcare workers and first responders and all frontline staff dealing with incoming travellers.
In Group B are persons 60 years and older with underlying medical conditions - or what’s described as a relevant health status
Group C is made up of “workers essential to Government continuity”.
Stage Two groups “anyone aged 16-60 with relevant medical status (or underlying medical condition), those living at home with persons who are part of Stage One of the programme, and essential workers, teachers and school staff.
In Stage Three are all persons over 16 years old who would not have received the vaccination in Stages One and Two.
This part of the national vaccination programme will begin with persons aged 50 and over and then extend to persons who are between 16 and 49 years of age.
The Government says as further supplies become available, a staged approach will see other groups receive the vaccine, based on the risk to their health posed by the viral illness.
Further shipments are expected in the coming weeks although an exact schedule could not be given.
Under the current three-stage method, the vaccines will initially be available to persons aged 70 and over, certain patients in high-risk categories, healthcare workers and other high-risk frontline staff.
According to the system under which the vaccine is being rolled out, "It will be taken to those who are housebound and administered by a public health official, should members of the public desire this option.
"When there is better availability of the vaccines, the offering will extend to those aged 60 and above who are part of the first stage of vaccination."
Officials say the vaccine is not currently recommended for children under 16, pregnant women or women who plan to be pregnant within the next three months.
Persons with a history of immediate onset anaphylaxis to a vaccine, medicine or food should also not receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Health officials emphasise that the vaccine will be voluntary and encourage residents to "do their own research when making decisions for their families."
In addition to the vaccinations being administered, the Government advises that regular PCR screening for the COVID-19 will continue with safety restrictions for healthcare workers, healthcare establishments, nursing homes and prisons.
Those involved in hospitality will be screened periodically for the disease.
Travellers who complete a course of the vaccine and test negative on arrival will be exempt from quarantine.
"This is provided other residents of their household have been vaccinated. These persons must also undergo repeated testing on days 0, 5, 10, 15 after arrival," an official statement says.
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