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Thursday, Mar 04, 2021

Governor Confirms UK Commitment to Vaccine Supply

Governor Confirms UK Commitment to Vaccine Supply

The UK’s commitment to supplying the Overseas Territories with vaccines is firm and will be proportionate to our population size and the amount of vaccines available in the UK. Vaccines are supplied free of charge.
The third consignment of vaccines is due to arrive on the 11 February BA flight. This time we have been able to secure more doses than the first and second consignments. The next consignment will consist of around 15,000 doses.

Each vial should have 5 doses but contains 6 or 7. Therefore, our first batch of 9,750 was actually closer to 11,500 doses. In total, in the first two consignments from London we received around 23,000 doses. The third consignment will take us to a total of about 38,000 doses, which will vaccinate close to 20,000 people. This is a strong signal of support from the UK for Cayman and the Overseas Territories. My office remains in touch with London about further supplies on the next two BA flights in February and March.

Globally vaccine supply still remains challenging. The politics around who has access to vaccines is also sensitive. So in Cayman we are doing very well given the continuing health crisis in UK and elsewhere, including other OTs, some of which have significant community transmission and deaths. We will continue to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for next 2-3 shipments but we may be provided with AstraZeneca at some point depending on supplies.

Vaccines continue to be rolled out to millions of people across the world with no serious side effects or complications. Here in the Cayman Islands there have been no severe adverse reactions.

In the UK more than 10.5m people have now received a vaccine dose. In the US, more than 33 million doses have been administered. Global total is over 100 million.

Vaccines are safe, effective, they were trialled on many tens of thousands of people and have gone through rigorous testing. They were given a green light by highly respected regulators in many different countries. We can be confident they are safe.

As Premier and Dr Lee set out, we need 90% of the over 60s to be vaccinated before we look at opening the islands up any further. Thank you to HSA and everyone involved in distributing the vaccine. We are making good progress towards that target but everyone needs to play their role. It’s vitally important that you take your vaccine when offered. As much as the protection for you individually, taking a vaccine is for our community, particularly to protect our elderly and vulnerable.

I recognise some people continue to have concerns about the vaccine. I understand that and respect anyone who has reasonable concerns. I believe they can be allayed. Please do refer to trustworthy official sources for objective information. There is plenty of excellent factual information on the Cayman Government website. Don’t be taken in by misleading, sensational stories on social media. Think carefully about what you circulate.

Covid-19 variants have been causing concern and anxiety globally. Currently, there is not enough data available to understand everything about the new variants, but there does seem to be reasonable confidence that the vaccines will still be effective. The signals are that vaccines, even with the new variants, will stop people getting seriously ill or dying. This gives us hope, but until more data is available, we need to remain vigilant. I therefore fully support the Government’s cautious and careful approach over the coming weeks until we have clearer information.

It is however superb news that an Oxford University study has demonstrated that the AstraZeneca vaccine stops an individual infecting others with Covid as well as protecting the individual. First study to show that. Still needs to be peer reviewed but highly promising development and gives us confidence that vaccines will be the way out of this pandemic. The development of vaccines continues to be an incredible scientific advance and UK science is playing a pivotal role.

We remain blessed that we can enjoy largely normal lives. I want to thank everyone for what they are doing all across our Islands. The processes for incoming travellers continue to work well. I urge everyone coming in to our islands to follow the protocols to help keep everyone here safe.

The vaccine roll-out gives us much hope and confidence for the future, despite the emergence of new strains. Please everyone take the vaccine when invited to do so. It is the CaymanKind thing to do and we owe it to all our fellow citizens across our community. We’re all in this together.
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