People urged to get flu jab in face of pandemic

| 23/10/2020 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service
Faith Hospital, Cayman Brac

(CNS): The HSA’s director of Primary Health Care, Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, said Friday that this year’s flu vaccine has arrived and urged people to take the free shot because this year there is the possibility of the Cayman Islands having to deal with double threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and the flu at the same time. In today’s COVID-19 test results, another traveller in isolation was found to be positive after health officials processed 211 samples.

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee said the positive person was asymptomatic. There are now 23 active cases of the coronavirus in Cayman, with three people suffering symptoms, including one person who remains in intensive care.

While Cayman is largely free of the virus in the community, there are 691 people currently in isolation. The growing number of people coming into the islands and going into quarantine poses an increased risk that COVID-19 could find its way back into the wider community. As a result, Dr Williams-Rodriguez pointed to the greater need this year for people to take the flue shot.

“The flu vaccine is more important than ever this year with COVID-19 in circulation. It will help to reduce transmission of the flu and protect the islands from the double threat of flu and COVID-19,” he said.

Anyone over the age of six months can get the free shot. “It is especially crucial for people at high risk of having severe flu-related complications and people who live with or care for them,” he added.

Dr Williams-Rodriguez said that the Public Health Department will continue the onsite workplace vaccination initiative for companies with twenty or more employees wishing to have the vaccine. This is to minimise workplace disruption and ensure that as many people as possible get vaccinated.

The flu shot will be available at the hospital Atrium (front entrance) from Tuesday, 27 October, to Friday, 6 November, at the General Practice Clinic at the Cayman Islands Hospital, and all District Health Centres, from 2pm-4pm, Monday through Friday beginning, Tuesday, 27 October, and at supermarkets.

Residents on Cayman Brac should call Faith Hospital and those on Little Cayman should contact the clinic to make arrangements.

For more information call your local clinic:

  • Public Health Clinic at 244-2889/244 2621
  • The General Practice Unit at 244-2800
  • Faith Hospital at 948-2243
  • Little Cayman Clinic at 948-0114
  • The District Health Centres
    • East End 947-7440
    • North Side 947-9525
    • West Bay 949-3439
    • Bodden Town 947-2299

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (50)

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  1. Juniper says:

    I’d sooner have a one night stand with Charlie Sheen or cocktails with Bill Cosby than a fly-by-night flu shot

  2. Anonymous says:

    I clearly remember epidemics of flu when I was a child. One winter half students and staff were home sick, yet school didn’t close for quarantine. I wanted to stay home too and decided to stand barefooted on snow for a couple of minutes. I didn’t get sick that winter.

    Nevertheless I did have my share of sickness caused by flu, and it is simply impossible to confuse flu with cold. It hits you like a train, ravages you for a week or two, leaves you severely weak and fatigued for a month. Flu triggered complications weren’t and aren’t rare.

  3. Anonymous says:

    They not chipping me!

  4. Anonymous says:

    How is the flu getting on Island with all the precautions, isolation of new arrivals etc?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Flu jab in the face? No thanks.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I would prefer someone from HSA to explain why one gets the flu after getting the flu shot and sometimes it is worst than any flu that person has ever had.

    Until I get this explanation, I will be staying away from getting the flu shot.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because there are tons of strands of flu viruses and the vaccine each year can only protect from a few. Some years it works better. It’s pretty simple and you can go on to HSA site to read for yourself instead of wasting their time having to explain it to you.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are not really being vaccinated against future strains of flu that are only now circulating. Science doesn’t work that fast, even at warp speed. Nobody has a time machine to go into the future and then back with samples of later mutations. These antigens are always for past strains, sometimes decades ago, like 1968/9’s H3N2 that killed almost 4mln people. This year’s shot can help our immune systems to recognize future encounters with H3N2 strains, without having to die in the process, and it’s free. Are there still H3N2 strains circulating? Absolutely, yes. Is it the only strain of flu out there? No. Can we still get another flu? Yes. Can we still get H3N2? Maybe, depends on our immune response to the antigens, but likely less severe.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can explain the first part, after getting the flu flu shot generally your body takes a few weeks to build up resistance. Therefore despite having been vaccinated you can still catch the flu. Sorry I don’t have the answer to the second part.

      I won’t be getting the flu shot. I had a severe adverse reaction in the past and my doctor has permanently advised against it. It came on within a half and hour and caused severe neurological issues which lasted several days. He said that was rare but it can happen.

      Thankfully I haven’t had the flu in over 20 years. I wont be getting the shot.

      If people practiced self-isolation after getting it and the rest of us maintained good hygiene skills; just like we are told to do for Covid, the flu wouldn’t spread so much. People who knowlingly have the flu and are out and about in community are in reality superspreaders. They should be home self isolating until they are no longer contagious. I hate it when people say they have the flu and start coughing all over you. The others are just as worse; today they have the flu and tomorrow after taking cough suppressants and some Tylenol they are miraculously cured. Sorry you are still contagious and a health risk to others, especially the elderly, very young and those with certain long term medical conditions.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Its still very suspicious that there seems to be increased issues with the seasonal flu vax. I really hope people consider their circumstances before simply running down and getting vaccinated per our Health Minister’s advice.

    Here you go CNS from your very own fact check authority:

  8. Sim says:

    So true. Many people in the UK get the flu shot every year and still get the flu worst than those who didn’t take the shot.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The annual quadrivalent flu shot vaccinates against 4 historic “greatest hits” viral strains from problem flus of the past. 2x A stains, and 2x B strains. This year’s antigens don’t necessarily help with any other new flus that might be encountered, unless it’s one of those strains recirculating from the past. The purpose is to develop an immune system recognition of these invaders, should they reoccur, and avoid a super-pandemic year. Among the four, this year’s inoculates against 1968’s H3N2 pandemic that killed up to 4,000,000 worldwide. There are many variations of H3N2. For those that understand how antigens work, don’t skip this year’s flu shot, it may be the most important vaccination in decades.

    Middle-Aged Individuals May Be in a Perpetual State of H3N2 Flu Virus Susceptibility:

  10. Anonymous says:

    Has Covid killed off the flu? Experts pose the intriguing question as influenza cases nosedive by 98% across the globe.
    or is it another fake news?

    • Anonymous says:

      There will be a drop due to the precautions (ie mask wearing, hand sanitizing, etc) for COVID are the same for the flu.
      There was also some research, that has not been fully completed that COVID may prevent the body getting the flu at the same time as infected with the virus

  11. Anonymous says:

    they giving out shots…but some ppl are allergic to it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Some vaccines are developed using egg proteins. Tiny amounts of egg protein can remain in the vaccine. Some people have egg allergies. The healthcare practitioner will ask you before picking selecting the vaccine vial. There is almost always a more expensive version with antigens that were not developed using eggs. Same as every year.

  12. Anonymous says:

    A plot to secretly test the new covid vaccine under the guise of the regular flu vaccine.

    Damn it, where’d my foil hat go?!

  13. Anonymous says:

    How’s the flu going to get here exactly?

    • Anonymous says:

      Literally! Would like to know too

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent point. No doubt there will be a bullshit explanation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Didnt Dr Lee even say this year was lowest number of flu cases ever…and seemed surprized.

      I kinda always thought flu couldnt spontaneously combust aka had to be brought here from abroad…so with borders closed, why was low flu numbers so suprising? Obviously with even 800 persons coming in per month per “soft’border reopening and during flu season, we would expect to see numbers increase…

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know, but people are getting sick with the “flu” nearly every week at my office. They’re sick a lot on Fridays and Mondays in particular, so I think it’s a peculiar strain of flu.

  14. Anonymous says:

    How is there an increased threat of influenza with closed borders? No commercial aviation and no cruise passengers ? If all incoming travelers are screened for COVID and quarantined , where presumably influenza will be picked up in tests as it too is a Coronavirus , how was this increased ‘ threat’ gauged ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not all influenzas are coronaviruses.

      (The clue is in the name. What you actually want to say is that some incidences of the common cold are caused by coronaviruses, while others are caused by other viruses.)

      So, no, there is no reason to assume that the COVID test will also pick up influenza. – Something you might ask (can they test for flue at the same time and from the same sample?) but not something you should assume.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not all dipsticks are dipsticks unless certain dipsticks say so. Are you a dipstick…. Or perhaps a “scientist” with a pocket full of dollars?
        1+1 will always be 2. This fake corona science is doing my head in.

    • Anonymous says:

      The influenza viruses are not coronaviruses, they are a completely different family (Orthomyxoviridae, to be precise).

      There are seven coronaviruses known to have crossed over into humans. Two cause common colds (though most colds are caused by Rhinoviruses), two can cause bronchitis, usually in children, one of which can, in exceptional cases cause death. The other is so rare, however, there has only ever been one identified case. The other three cause MERS (MERS-CoV), SARS (SARS-CoV1) and Covid-19 (SARS-CoV2), all of which are pretty serious. On current figures, COVID-19 is approximately 10 times as lethal as seasonal flu with a fatality rate of around 1% vs 0.1%. By comparison MERS and SARS have fatality rates of around 25-30%. Fortunately neither spreads as easily as Covid-19

      The current tests are designed to be specific to a particular virus, not to the whole coronavirus family, though to be fair, some of the early tests could give a lot of false positives (and some were verging on fraudulent).

  15. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely not. Reminds me of when Piers Morgan had the flu shot on air and in the next 10 days or so, he was as sick as a dog with….flu.

    • Anonymous says:

      Consider the source. You can’t believe everything you read.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is the flu shot really safe ?

        • Anonymous says:

          Vaccines, such as the measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and nasal spray flu vaccines contain live, but weakened viruses: Unless a person’s immune system is weakened, it is unlikely that a vaccine will give the person the infection. People with weakened immune systems should not receive these live vaccines. (source:MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia)

          • Anonymous says:

            Ummm….werent they suggesting that the elderly get flu shots as priority? Arent they the ones with weakened immunity? I think they tried this methodology in Italy and not sure it worked out well. I guess in time, we will all be able to see the statistics.

      • Anonymous says:

        Regardless of the source, the fact is true. Stop deflecting and accept truth.
        Morgan got the flu after flu shot. End of.
        Don’t believe me, ask him yourself.
        Tiresome, lazy person causing me to waste keystrokes.

        • Anonymous says:

          And yet flu shots have no live virus, he either had it when he got the shot, or caught a strain that the flu shot doesn’t cover.

      • Anonymous says:

        It was one of many. If you have doubts, ask Piers for yourself.
        I hope you are as thorough when it comes time for you to get your vaccine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which proved what, exactly, to make you decide to ABSOLUTELY do something?

    • Sim says:

      So true. Many people in the UK get the flu shot every year and still get the flu worst than those who didn’t take the shot.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Regular hand washing, not touching your face after contact with others, good diet, good BMI and regular exercise are the best protections against contagion. And if your ticker and lungs are in good shape you’ll probably weather it no problem. The absolute best protection though is to just don’t get it. And if you do, lock yourself up.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Watch the number of positive cases go up…

    Remember, this is an annual vaccine as well.

  18. Anonymous says:


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