With more than half of persons over 60 already vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, the government says it's aiming for a 90 per cent threshold of that age group as a target to ease the quarantine restrictions and ultimately reopening the borders.
“Re-opening of our borders is contingent on getting 90% of those older than 60 to be fully vaccinated. We have vaccinated approximately 55% so far,” Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin disclosed on a press conference on Thursday.
“Cabinet has agreed once we reach 90% border controls can be changed to allow incoming travellers to quarantine for 10 days instead of 14,” he said.
Once that target is reached, Premier McLaughlin said travellers must have a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure as well as on arrival at the airport.
“They will also need to have completed a valid vaccination programme as approved by the Chief Medical Officer and a negative PCR test on day 10 before being approved to leave quarantine.”
He also informed that “going forward COVID-19 vaccines will be limited to those who are legally and ordinarily resident in the Cayman Islands.”
Critical to all that however, is the government’s objective to vaccinate 5,000 of persons aged over 60. To date 2,300 have received their shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine being administered in two doses.
But with a little over half - 55 per cent - of the over 60s, and 65 per cent of those aged over 70 already vaccinated, persuading others in that age bracket has become a priority in the interest of their own health and the wider community interest.
At the current rate, Mr McLaughlin said, it was hoped that they would reach the target by month-end.
“I believe that on the current trajectory. We should hit there at the end of this month. But again, but that depends on people from that demographic going forward to get the vaccine now we are at 65 our yes 65.”
Saying that he was “quite pleased” with the overall take up of the vaccine, the Premier nevertheless admitted that there were some challenges.
“I think we're all quite pleased with how well it's going,” he said but acknowledged that “the last push is usually the hardest in any endeavour.”