Emphasing that “we have to keep doing our part here at home to fight this deadly disease”, Hon. Min of Health Dwayne Seymour, has again appealed to residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking at Thursday’s government press conference he said although the vaccine is not a cure-all, it is a light at the end of the tunnel for Cayman in its battle against COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am proudly have joined this life-saving campaign with the islands first batch of COVID-19 vaccines being administered having taken my first dose this morning,” Mr Seymour said.
“I can attest to the safety of the vaccine and confirm that I am feeling fine.
He again appealed to everyone to participate in the voluntary vaccination programme.
“I ask everyone in our community to come forward when it is open to your category. Although the vaccine is not a cure-all it is a light at the end of what has been a very long dark tunnel for so many people. We cannot become complacent.”
According to the Health Minister, “We should all, if we are able, get vaccinated and do our part in the fight to help rebuild our economy to open our borders to travel freely once again…and of course the spend time without worry with our the elderly and those who are vulnerable.”
GOVERNOR ADVISES AGAINST VACCINE MISINFORMATION
HE Governor Martyn Roper praised the British government for providing the vaccine free of cost to the Overseas Territories with Cayman being one of the first in line to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech drug.
It is expected that other vaccines will be added to the list once they are approved, including the UK-manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca drug.
He however stressed that the number of people taking the vaccine will have an impact on future supplies.
“We want to see a strong take-up of the vaccine in our islands. And as the premier said the vaccines have been provided at no cost to the overseas territories. This batch alone cost over 200,000 UK pounds, which excludes freight costs.”
A first batch of 9,750 doses arrived on January 4th and is already being administered in two doses person at intervals of three weeks unlike in the UK where the vaccines are spaced at 12 weeks.
That decision has become a source of controversy between UK health experts and vaccine manufacturers.
British experts maintain that the first dose is the most important in ensuring immunity against COVID-19 with the second being a booster.
“So far on the trial run I expect the next batch to arrive on one of the next British Airways flights but that isn't confirmed at the moment,” Governor Roper said.
"So we want to see a strong take-up of the vaccine in our islands. And as the premier said the vaccines have been provided at no cost to the overseas territories. This batch alone cost over 200,000 UK pounds, which excludes freight costs."
Mr Roper said it was “a really strong signal of support from the UK to the overseas territories, which are a really important part of the UK family, and as the premier said quite rightly, it shows the value of a very constructive partnership.”
He also sought to reassure the public about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and advised residents to do their own research and steer clear of misinformation.