Top government officials and healthcare staff have kicked off another important phase of Cayman’s national voluntary vaccination programme by being the first to receive their second shots.
HE Governor Martyn Roper, Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin, Hon. Health Minister Dwayne Seymour and Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee rolled up their sleeves on Thursday for their next dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 inoculation, three weeks after receiving the first jab according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
On the same day, the second consignment of the drug provided by the UK arrived on a British Airways flight ensuring no interruption to the ongoing vaccination programme.
To date, around 7,000 doses have been administered from the first shipment of 9,750 doses which arrived on January 5th.
Governor Roper remarked: “Our vaccine roll-out is going well with over 7000 having had the vaccine and second doses being rolled out. Our second batch of 10-11000 vaccines arrived (on Thursday) and I am in touch with London about the next batch in February. I hope to confirm that early next week.”
Saying that “we need to ensure all our elderly and vulnerable receive the vaccine,” Mr Roper added that, “If we can vaccinate the majority of our over 60s, we will protect our community from the worst effects of Covid.”
“Please help encourage everyone in our community to take it when invited to do so,” the Governor urged. “I understand that some people continue to have reasonable concerns about vaccines. But this is our only way out of the pandemic.”
While the response to the vaccine has been positive, Premier Alden McLaughlin is urging members of the community within the eligible stages to take greater advantage of the availability of the vaccines,” according to a statement issued by the government.
“The Cayman Islands is in a very fortunate position to have these vaccines,” said Premier McLaughlin. “We have an opportunity that many from other countries can only hope for, and we must come together to do the right thing.
"Therefore, I am urging our Caymanians, particularly those in the older age group, to get vaccinated. It is for our own good, for the protection of our people and continuation of our economy,” he said.
The Health Services Authority (HSA) and the Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA) have partnered to improve the vaccination programme with the HSA COVID Vaccine Clinic relocated to the Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) check-in area.
HSA Chief Nursing Officer and Acting CEO, Dr Hazel Brown observed that “having administered over 7,000 doses of this vaccine, we are confident that the vaccines can be delivered in a non-clinical setting, as is done elsewhere in North America and Europe, provided there are equipment and supplies to address an emergency should one arise.”
She noted that the airport terminal with its large space and ample parking “improves the efficiency of the vaccine delivery, reducing wait time and expediting the overall process.”
The process of administering the vaccine also involves a precautionary rest and observation period of 15 minutes after taking the jab.
As explained by the health team, this allows time to see, in the rare event, if there are any immediate side effects. Should any vaccine recipient experience a serious side effect, medical staff are on-site to administer care.”
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