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Governor’s Statement on Emergence of Delta Variant in Travellers and Vaccine Take-up

COVID - 19 23 Jul, 2021 Follow News

Governor’s Statement on Emergence of Delta Variant in Travellers and Vaccine Take-up

I know the community will be concerned that we have identified, through our genome sequencing capability, 2 cases of the highly infectious Delta variant in returning travellers. We can have confidence in our public health teams who have kept us safe in managing the risks from returning travellers and I want to thank them all once more for their outstanding service to our community.

Delta cases on our shores are not a surprise given that this dangerous variant is the dominant one in the US and UK. Nonetheless, the arrival of Delta in Cayman makes it even more imperative that those who have not taken the vaccine in our community do so as soon as possible. It takes at least 5 weeks before immunity builds up effectively for those receiving a first dose. I therefore strongly support renewed calls from the Premier, Government Ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Lee and our medical professionals for more people in our community to come forward to take the vaccine.

The growing dominance of the Delta variant is a dangerous development as the world grapples with Covid. But it is increasingly clear that this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. I am sure all of us were touched by interviews coming out of the US with unvaccinated Covid patients saying they wished they had had the vaccine and urging others to take it.

Vaccines work and are highly effective in protecting us. In the US 99% of those who have died in the last 6 months were unvaccinated according to the Director of CDC. In the UK, as of today, 1 in 1000 infections results in death. Last winter in the UK that figure was 1 in 60. The difference now is the vaccine as almost 70% of UK adults have been vaccinated. In the UK, data shows that vaccines reduce your chance of severe illness and death by 92-96%.

If you havn’t had the vaccine yet, the emergence of Delta variant should give pause for reflection. Opening the border will never be risk free. Getting as many jabs in arms is our best hope of protecting everyone in our community, including our elderly and vulnerable and our young people, who even if they get Covid mildly, can suffer from highly debilitating long covid.

The UK’s commitment to provide us with vaccines, and a booster this autumn if needed, remains firm. Let’s please use this precious resource. I urge all those who have not stepped forward to do so.

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