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RESIDENTS REASSURED ABOUT COVID-19 BOOSTER VACCINE CHOICES AND AVAILABILITY

COVID - 19 17 Nov, 2022 Follow News

RESIDENTS REASSURED ABOUT COVID-19 BOOSTER VACCINE CHOICES AND AVAILABILITY

By staff writer

Cayman has adequate stocks of COVID vaccines on hand to last until the end of the year, while the option of obtaining additional quantities is not expected to be necessary until early next year.

This assurance from the new Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Gent comes in response to a query raised by Caymanian Times newspaper about personal vaccine preferences and available supplies.

The Health Services Agency (HCA) is continuing with its Covid-19 booster and flu schedule at clinics throughout the jurisdiction with the Moderna vaccine available to all persons over 18 years of age without an appointment being necessary. However, anyone who prefers to have the Pfizer-BioNTech brand of the vaccine is required to complete a questionnaire and give their consent.

IDs are required for the Moderna vaccine, and in the case of the Pfizer-BioNTech, the consent form includes necessary data including name, address and immigration status.

A statement to Caymanian Times from the office of the CMO explains: “The Cayman Islands Government has only procured the Pfizer monovalent vaccine for use as new primary immunisations for people who have never received SARS-CoV2 vaccine before, or for people who prefer to have a Pfizer fall vaccine booster.”

On the issue of available supplies, it states that “at this point in time, we are not expecting a “shipment of Pfizer/BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 booster” given that our last shipment arrived in late September and we have sufficient stock to take us through until at least the end of the year.  Any decision around additional procurement of vaccines is not expected until early 2023.”

Regarding the Moderna vaccine, the response from the CMO says: “The Moderna bivalent 50 microgram vaccine, which can only be used as a booster in people who have completed initial primary courses with 2 x doses of Pfizer vaccine.”

It further states that the Moderna bivalent booster vaccine has an enhanced protective effect from being a different vaccine type from the Pfizer monovalent primary vaccine that was principally used here in Cayman in the initial immunization programme. 

“We do allow people out of personal choice continue to use the Pfizer monovalent vaccine for their Fall booster; and the evidence is good that this monovalent vaccine does produce a good protective effect against omicron variants, but the Moderna vaccine can be expected to produce a better vaccine effectiveness still. Both are good choices for the Fall booster, but Moderna has the edge,” the statement from the CMO adds.

The latest bulletin from the HSA and Public Health Department advises that the Moderna Fall Boosters is available to all eligible persons 18 years and older who have had their last Covid-19 vaccine or booster more than three months ago.

The November rollout of the Moderna bivalent booster, Pfizer Covid-19 and flu vaccinations is being done with consolidated clinics providing all three vaccines.


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