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Editorial: In praise of our Public Health service

Opinions & Editorial 03 Feb, 2021 Follow News

Editorial: In praise of our Public Health service

Public health staff around the globe are currently working flat out to ensure that their populations are vaccinated against Covid-19 as quickly as possible, as countries know that this is the only way out of this current pandemic that the world faces. The Cayman Islands must feel justly proud of its exceptional Public Health staff who have achieved the incredible feat of administering the first shot of the vaccine to 4,908 persons as at Tuesday 19th January, or about 8 per cent of the roughly 62,000 population.

According to global data, the world leader in vaccines in terms of amounts given per population is the United Arab Emirates, which has (at the time of writing) given out 1.16 vaccines per 100 people. They are followed by Israel, which has given out 1.11 vaccines per 100 people, then Bahrain (0.42) then the United Kingdom (0.39) and then the United States (0.24). By the same calculations, the Cayman Islands has carried out an incredible 7.9 vaccines per 100 people, which makes this country streets ahead of the world.

Our nurses, doctors and other Public Health staff should be commended on their hard work in ensuring that the most vulnerable people within our community have been at the forefront of this mass vaccination drive. The elderly, healthcare and frontline workers and those with underlying health conditions have all been prioritised when it comes to receiving the first lot of vaccines.

 

Students should be high priority

Let’s not forget our students, however. According to recent data from Public Health England, over the last few weeks adults aged 18-64 have accounted for 40 per cent of daily Covid admissions to hospitals in the UK, which may be the start of a worrying trend for this latest variant of the virus.

According to Johns Hopkins in the US, data from one study showed that of more than 3,000 adults aged 18 to 34 who contracted COVID-19 and became sick enough to require hospital care, 21 per cent ended up in intensive care, 10 per cent were placed on a breathing machine and 2.7 per cent died. Young Black and Hispanic men and women are more at risk than their white counterparts, the data revealed.

So, when we are sending our young people back university and college this Spring, to Covid hot spots such as the UK and the US, we think they should be fully protected and ought to be high on the priority list. They are our future, after all.


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