Remarks by Governor Martyn Roper at COVID-19 press briefing 10 March 2021.
As the Premier said, it is wonderful news that 90% of our over 60s have now been vaccinated. That means we are now able to begin reducing the mandatory quarantine period for incoming vaccinated travellers from 14 days to 10 days. This is the start of the cautious, gradual and safe opening up of the islands that we all very much want.
I am also pleased that as a result of the supply of the Pfizer vaccines
from the UK, we were able last week to further open up our vaccine
programme to anyone over the age of 16.
So far the UK has sent Cayman 38,000 vaccine
doses. Tomorrow approximately 20,000 additional doses will arrive on the BA flight from London. We have a further 20,000 doses arriving on the 25 March BA flight. The final delivery of approximately 23,000 doses is expected on the BA flight on 7 April. These vaccines
continue to be supplied free of charge.
So after the final delivery on 7 April we will have received over 100,000 doses which is enough to vaccinate the entire adult population of 50,000 people in Cayman. This means that by the early May, all those over the age of 16 who want to be vaccinated could have received their second dose.
This is a fantastic achievement, especially as the supply of vaccines
remains such a challenge globally. I just want to take a moment to reflect that on 13 March last year we closed schools across our Islands. On 22 March we closed our borders. It has been an incredibly long year and an incredibly tough one for all of us. The community in Cayman has rallied around and we can all be proud of the progress we have made. But if anyone had said last March, that by May this year we would have a safe, reliable vaccine
and have vaccinated all adults over 16 in Cayman, not many would have believed it. We have come a long way but that achievement is within our grasp. As a community, what an opportunity we have. Let’s grasp it.
So I urge everyone to take the vaccine
when invited to do so. As the Premier said about 3/5ths of our adults have already had one dose. In the UK that figure is 23 million and over 100 million in the US.
continue to be rolled out to millions of people across the world with no serious side effects or complications. Here on Island there continue to be no severe adverse reactions.
As the Premier said there was excellent news yesterday that the Pfizer vaccine
is effective against the Brazilian variant. We already know that it is effective against the UK and South African variants. That is incredibly good news about vaccine
efficacy, but we have to remain cautious as new variants may emerge.
As the data in the UK is already showing in the over 70s, the vaccine
is highly effective at stopping hospitalisations, serious illness and death. It is the way for each of us to protect ourselves and our elderly and vulnerable relatives and friends. These vaccinations were trialled on many tens of thousands of people. They have gone through rigorous testing. Hundreds of millions are receiving them across the world. Once again I urge those who remain hesitant to please not listen to unsubstantiated, false and irresponsible conspiracy theories. Form an objective view from trusted, official and objective sources. Talk to people who have had it. Think about protecting your loved ones. The objective case for taking the vaccine
is a powerful one.
Once again, let me also urge everyone coming in to our islands from overseas to follow the protocols to help keep everyone here safe. Our systems continue to work very well and we have avoided any community transmission. I would also like to pay tribute to the Civil Service who have done a heroic job to keep it that way. We need to remain alert and on our game to keep it that way. There are strict penalties for anyone breaking the rules and they will be enforced where there is clear evidence.
In conclusion, I want to thank Health Services Authority for an outstanding effort on the vaccination roll-out. Thank you once again to everyone in the community for what you have all done individually to get Cayman into this positive situation, one of the most favourable anywhere in the world just now.
roll-out gives us much hope and confidence for the future. We are now in an incredibly good place to re-open safely and bounce back strongly from this global pandemic that has so tested the entire world.