By Staff Writer
An encouraging community response is being noticed as a drive to boost the number of persons vaccinated against COVID-19 gains momentum.
With overall vaccination now exceeding 100,000 (numbers are updated daily), the push is on to include those persons who have not yet been inoculated urging them to come forward.
The previous target of 80 per cent linked to the October 14th reopening has been all but abandoned over concerns that it might not be reached. The rate of vaccinations had dropped in the past months but recently has picked up considerably.
The renewed interest in getting vaccinated is linked to the confirmation of three cases of community spread of the virus - two of which were confirmed to be the highly-transmissible Delta variant.
Vaccination clinics have been set up at several points throughout the islands and Hon. Minister for Heath and Wellness, Sabrina Turner, is urging persons who have delayed getting the vaccine to come forward to get their jab.
“From what we're seeing people are showing up in their numbers. We want this to continue, and we appreciate your cooperation and making this a reality.”
Referring to the situation elsewhere, Min. Turner noted: “We have gotten the statistics and the data that has proven our high vaccination rates in comparison to some other jurisdictions. And for those jurisdictions who are vaccinated, and those who have fallen seriously ill it is proven that the vaccine works. We want this to continue and we appreciate your cooperation in making this a reality.”
Approximate figures at press time suggested that close of 75 per cent of the revised population estimate of 71,106 (up from the previous 65,000) have now had at least one dose of the Pfizer Biio Tech vaccine with a little over 70 per cent completing the recommended two-dose course.
Clearance has now been received for booster shots to be administered in Cayman in keeping with advice and supplies from Public Health England which has been donating the vaccines to Cayman and other Overseas Territories.
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee announced that Public Health England has confirmed that the United Kingdom Overseas Territories can decide to deploy booster programmes as a result of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s approval for the use of booster doses of both Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines.
“We will be rolling out that programme as soon as we have confirmation through the Governor's office… and when we have that date, we will be able to ask people to come forward for the booster programme.”
Dr Lee also said that priority will be given to the more vulnerable especially person with underlying conditions.
“I expect that we'll start very imminently and certainly we'll be calling for people by priority so the first group of priority will be those who are immuno-compromised and then they need the most help and then working back through the groups. That information will come out in the next week or two as to how that will work.”
Meanwhile PCR testing for the virus is continuing especially among traveller in line with the intensified vaccination drive. Over just two days in the past week 34 positive cases were found among arriving passengers the highest numbers in recent times.