By Flynn Bush
On Friday evening, June 18th, the Pact Government hosted the prize drawing ceremony for those members of our community who answered the call to get vaccinated at the tail-end of the drive. Cayman Cabana restaurant on the waterfront was the venue, and it was an idyllic setting for the occasion. On hand were the Minister of Tourism the Hon. Kenneth Bryan; the Minister of Health, the Hon. Sabrina Turner; Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee, and other members of the government. There were also many members of the public and representatives from the businesses who had sponsored the prizes to be raffled off.
The atmosphere that evening was light and jovial, with an air of formality thrown in. Mr. Bryan lauded the setting himself when he said, “This is a great evening and what it is about is doing what it takes so that we can open our borders to provide our amazing CaymanKind that we offer; so it was wonderful to have it at a CaymanKind location.”
Dr. John Lee expressed his satisfaction with the way that the vaccination drive had gone, and called the event “A celebration of success for the vaccination program in Cayman so far.” He continued, “I thank everyone for taking part, whether it be by contributing prizes, or coming forward to get vaccinated. Now the next stage will take us that final mile. We need everyone to go the further distance so that we can have the confidence to securely open our borders.
Minister Bryan added further support to Dr. Lee’s sentiment. “With respect to keeping our country safe when we open our borders, this vaccine challenge did a lot for that.” He also addressed one concern that some persons had with the challenge. “I know that a lot of people who had gotten the vaccine from the first chance available have expressed that they feel like they were forgotten with this prize draw. That’s why the next stage; what I have called Vaccine Challenge 2.0, will include every single person who resides in this country and have gotten vaccinated. That means Caymanians, Permanent residents, persons married to Caymanians, and work permit holders. There will be a total of $100,000 in cash prizes to be raffled off.”
Hon. Sabrina Turner, took the time to also laud the success of the challenge and to praise all of the people who were involved in one way or another. Additionally, she stated, “Kudos to Minister Bryan for leading the way and for stressing the importance of this venture. Recently, we were elected and were told that we had a matter of days before a whole batch of vaccines would have expired. As a new government, we gave our word, stepped up to the challenge, and we all did our best. Now, this evening just goes to show of our team effort.
With the first challenge complete and the next batch of vaccines already on islands, the possibility of reaching the 80% vaccination mark looks within reach. Keep in mind that once that threshold is surpassed, the second prize drawing would be inevitable; including the drawing of ten $10,000 dollar prizes.