9,750 COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Cayman

| 05/01/2021 | 88 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): Public health officials will begin vaccinating healthcare workers, front-line staff at the airport and the over 70s in a matter of days after the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines against COVID-19 arrived in the Cayman Islands on Tuesday. Governor Martyn Roper said the arrival of the 9,750 doses was a pivotal moment for the country, as he urged people to get the shot to start immunizing the community against the virus.

Officials believe they will be able to roll out the vaccines quite quickly to the most vulnerable and front-line workers, and it seems the main concern for the authorities here is that misinformation could see people reluctant to take the shots.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said that he has always believed that the only safe way to re-open the Cayman Islands to tourism is through a vaccine, which can protect the entire community from people bringing the virus in while also requiring all visitors to also be inoculated before they are allowed in.

McLaughlin, Roper, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour and Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee will all receive the vaccine on Thursday morning at the hospital, which will be live streamed to encourage people in the community to also take it.

The vaccines will then initially be available to those aged 70 and over, certain patients in high risk categories, healthcare workers and high risk front-line staff.

No appointments will be required and people in the first group of the first tier will be able to walk in to get the shot. Those unable to leave home will be visited by healthcare workers who will administer the vaccines.

Further supplies are expected on the next BA flight, which will allow the staged approach and see other groups receive the vaccine based on the risk to their health posed by the viral illness. Seymour said the national vaccine plan and staged approached was based on WHO guidelines.

This first batch of vaccines is worth $200,000 and is being paid for by the UK.

Dr Lee said the health services authority will work through the vaccination stages as more doses arrive but the focus now is on those most at risk, including the older members of the population.

The vaccines arrived with around 250 passengers from the UK, who will join 947 people currently in isolation and quarantine

Another three travellers tested positive among the results released Tuesday but all three were asymptomatic. There now 11 people who are suffering symptoms of the virus among 43 active cases of COVID-19. Cayman has now recorded 350 positive cases of the virus since testing began last March and has conducted 61,328 tests.

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Comments (88)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Since the vaccine does not prevent spread and on the assumption that the entire adult population is vaccinated (the vaccine is only approved for adults) how do we protect our children?

    • Vaccine for every tourist says:

      I agree the only way to open up our tourism industry is vaccinize for Every tourist before they arrive in the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s a GREAT plan….in theory. Most persons that are young/healthy enough to travel aren’t eligible to receive the vaccine any time soon. Sadly, if this is to happen it will be AT LEAST another year before opening up. Doubt most businesses can handle another whole year of no income.

        • Anonymous says:

          Also, kids under 16 can’t even receive the vaccine. Lots of our tourists are families with kids so how will that play out? 🤷🏻‍♀️

  2. Anonymous says:

    You know that Bermuda has purchased extra stocks of the vaccine so their tourism industry can recover faster? Just sayin …

  3. Anonymous says:

    It beggars belief that there is so much animosity towards British tax payers who are funding these vaccines.

  4. Autonomous says:

    Wonder how realistic their 65% target is. Sounds like there are lots of people who will rely on Jesus, voodoo, or the “healing sea water” to keep them safe and opt against the vaccine. Where will that leave us in terms of reopening?

    • Anonymous says:

      Also, many that WANT the vaccine will have a fairly long wait before being able to receive it! Don’t count on March re-opening.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Incoming Flight Risks,

    Most people understand that arriving passengers will, at least in theory, go into quarantine so if they are infected the majority of them will be non-infectious by the time they get out of quarantine.

    Quite a few people, including some of our politicians, do not understand that with the new more infectious strains that now represent the majority of cases in places like the UK, it is entirely possible for infected arriving passengers to infect not only other passengers but also flight crew, CBC personnel at the airport as well as other airport staff. It is also possible for them to infect the taxi drivers who take them to their place of quarantine and the people who work in quarantine facilities. All of the local people who are unreasonably exposed to people who are infectious at the time of getting on the planes go back into our community at the end of their shifts potentially carrying the virus with them.

    We need to require day of departure testing now that it is so widely available. It is ridiculous not to.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now that testing is easily available I agree. It hardly seems a major imposition to get a test prior to flying given travellers are already committed to 2 weeks isolation. That said the new variant is only 50% more transmissible and has been around for months now; if it were as bad as some people seem to think a couple of positives off the plane would result in dozens of positives at the end of quarantine after sitting with them for 11 hours! We aren’t seeing that.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’ll pass on the vaccine ….

  7. Concerned citizens says:

    Yes 10:17 that the problem with people just like you with your arrogant comment vaccine or no vaccine letting 250 persons here from a jurisdiction in Lockdown with 9750 injections who’s population is over 60’000 is still putting us at unnecessary risk anyway you put it because all it takes is one idiot to infect or transmit it to another person to spread it and since the privilege few are first up to get it we will see how it goes. Since it takes sometime to work we will also pay close attention to the behavior and attitude persons just like you so we don’t end up in the same dire situation your fellow countrymen find themselves in right now! My finally question is can our all wonderful govt tell us when we will be testing for the new variants of the virus to determine if it’s prevalent here in Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      The population (in terms of number of people here) is higher than 60,000. Of course, the ESO continues to not count large numbers of people who are here which leaves us at a significant disadvantage in trying to determine what will constitute herd immunity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously we’ve been doing well with the 14-day quarantine, you write as if all 250 people coming off the flight will be super spreaders. If 1 in 50 people have the virus in the UK then perhaps 5 people will test positive and go on to recover based on our experience so far.

      Cayman’s system isn’t perfect but it allows for limited travel in and out if you are prepared to quarantine for 14-days (Jet-ski girlfriends excluded)

    • Anonymous says:

      Suggest you wait for the UCCI vaccine then. I’ll wager you had no problem sending thousands of people home when we were in lockdown ourselves! Why do you think you can shut out the rest of the world then be entitled to be first in the queue for their vaccine? Futhermore 10,000 shots represents a greater % of our population, including ALL of our elderly and immuno-compromised population than the country sending it to us has for their own people!

    • Anonymous says:

      Alternatively you could just show a little gratitude.

    • Anonymous says:

      What lockdown are you in?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Where are all the usual comments about stopping the UK flight?

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean, not hate or anti-anyone comments toward those who are not at least 26th generation cayman

    • Anonymous says:

      well..it is kind of ironic we got a plane full of potential new variants alongside the vaccine on board.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t be silly. The fact the vaccine was on this flight is obviously the story here. Whether we should be allowing people to fly here from the UK is another matter, especially when the UK strain of the virus is so infectious it could escape our apparently leaky quarantine/isolation regime.

  9. Anonymous says:

    At the beginning of the practice of vaccinations, our ancestors pricked boils and transferred. We’ve come too far for conspiracists to discredit medical science now.

    Watching a YouTube conspiracy documentary and getting removed posts doesn’t make you some special know it all above established science/facts.

    • Shawn says:

      You see science is just testing theory’s science evolves as more is learned so the science of the 1800s is certainly different from the science of today and likewise the science of 2050 will have a different look yet again so science is never settled as we learn more , just as we don’t use leaches for infection anymore mRNA gene therapy won’t be used when this all comes out in the wash , please if you plan on having children think twice about risking your body to stop a virus with a 99.9% recovery rate

      • Anonymous says:

        Please stop. Just stop with the absolute nonsense.

      • Anonymous says:

        In 1-200 years you will be able to telepathically summon a driverless (flying?) vehicle powered by renewable, clean energy for free.

        By your logic you shouldn’t buy any vehicle and instead walk to work every day since your combustion vehicle is soon to be obsolete.


    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, we see medical science. Consider that it is possible for someone: to be educated; to be generally pro-vax; to be familiar with the new technology; to have read about the warp-speed trial-stoppages; to have read about the published and inferred counter-indications in several trial groups; to have read the comments of concern from career-professionals on the safety of warp-speed shortcuts (“NIH very concerned about serious side effect” re AZ trial etc); to have read about the big pharma requirement that they be fully-indemnified, and that the vaccines be labeled “for emergency use only”; to understand what transverse myelitis is; to be wary on basis of allergic reactions; and to have witnessed a year’s worth of global lockdown ambivalence, collective disassociated non-compliance, and the political obstinance of not being seen as having made efforts to close their economies (to starve the virus of new hosts), or been wrong on approving a fast-tracking a miracle short-cutted solution. There have never been any vaccines brought to the public this fast. Ever. Weighing all that, even smart people, may be permitted to have some questions, second thoughts, and personal preferences – on this science project. At least give these lower-priority folks their time and space, to observe any aftermath from the first 20 mln injections. Just sayin’.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know thalidomide went through much the same approval process right?

      • JKD says:

        when Thalidomide was tested (which was in the 50’s by the way so a tiny little bit of a while ago in terms of scientific progress) they didnt know how things could pass from a mother to her baby and it was only babies born of mothers who took thalidomide who had problems. Why oh why would you try and scare people by bringing that up, it’s not even slightly the same thing. it wasnt even a vaccine – I’m starting to think some of these comments should start getting banned.

  10. Anonymous says:

    True generational Caymanians first!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      How about UK expats first then…… the UK paid for it.

      see don’t like that maybe just maybe the old and sick first just like everywhere. else in the world, that’s the fair way.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree that it definitely should go to high risk groups first!

        For example: Start with 70+ and healthcare workers then go to 60+ with co-morbidities. From there, younger with health risks and then working down to lower risk groups.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Because of where I was born, color of my skin, my superstitions, the color of my eyes, my sex, my family, etc., I am superior to you.” We are not impressed. HRM

  11. Anonymous says:

    You all now love the UK because without them Cayman would have no vaccine

  12. Anonymous says:

    With the Pfizer vaccine, the vials come with an intended 5 doses. But the Pfizer vials have overfill, and in the US they have been able to get 6 to 7 doses per vial. This could mean 20 to 25% more vaccine available.

    Let’s get rolling!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Every vaccine given puts us one step closer to reviving our tourism industry. 🤞

    • McCarron McLaughlin says:

      The fact that these companies still haven’t overcome that hurdle of injecting the live virus in human test cases like they did on the animals to see what would happen, makes me worried for anyone that take the vaccine. During their clinical trails for the past 20 years the animals tested die when they were injected with the virus after taking the vaccine. You see the danger right?

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr. McLaughlin. I respect your voice of reason and applaud you. Rumour has it that mice won’t be taking the vaccine until it has been fully tested on humans.
        Anyone check up on the Portuguese nurse, Ms. Avecedo?


        I am not doubting the efficacy of prior vaccines such as smallpox and polio, but catching flu is a whole lot less serious than smallpox and polio.

        In my opinion, the coordinated power plays by the governments of the world and its associated regulatory bodies have been nothing short of overbearing, overreaction and downright fraudulent.

        Even Joe Biden stated on his Twitter in Oct 2019 that Trump would not be able to deal with a pandemic. How the hell did he know? Lucky guess, I suppose.

        The lie has been perpetuated so much that even once-normal people are now fully-fledged, fanatical members of the cult of COVID.

        An mRNA vaccine has NEVER been globally rolled out before. Of course, McLaughlin, Lee and Roper will say it’s safe. What else will they say?

        Tread wisely, Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nor has such a pandemic spread globally.
          In my opinion, a virus that has caused so many deaths and put the whole world on hold cannot be the work of the world’s governments and their associated regulatory bodies, nor do I believe that they are exaggerating, let alone that they are fraudulent. There is no country in the world that is happy with such a situation.

          • Anonymous says:

            Flu. More deaths too.
            More deaths by heart attack and cancer.
            People are not happy, but the governments are ecstatic.

            • Anonymous says:

              It’s certainly not “just the flu” BUT neither is it the automatic death sentence that CIG seems to think it is. Has it killed far too many people across the world? Absolutely! Have the vast majority that had it recovered? Absolutely!

              I am ecstatic and grateful that CIG will be providing this vaccine for those that choose it! My parents are in a high risk group and would like the additional protection it will provide them. I am very pro-vaccine but I’m not in any rush to get it, if ever.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s OK McCarron. If you don’t want to have it, you are not obliged. In fact, I would rather that you didn’t have it, and then I can move up the queue faster. Darwinism will sort it out in the end, with stupid people refusing the vaccine eventually being wiped out and the smart people will be left. That will be better for society in the long run.

      • Anonymous says:

        This vaccine is not made out of the virus.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am amazed that the BA flight, with around 250 passengers, was not cancelled. With countries all around the world banning flights from the UK and with the UK going into lock down because of the rampant spreading of the new strain of the virus, was this really a good idea? The vaccines could have been sent by military transport.

    • Anonymous says:

      Could have been sent by courier. But the Gov loves his air Bridget, and it has to have a purpose.

      • I can only drive in the right hand lane says:

        Have you tried getting anything out of DHL, FEDEX or UPS in a timely manner? “We need the Invoice” to the power of “N”, where “N”>2!

    • Anonymous says:

      Other countries aren’t doing mandatory quarantine so they’re at high risk of community spread if they allow UK passengers to enter.

      Cayman’s risk is very drastically reduced because everyone goes directly into quarantine. There would be even further reduction in risk if home quarantine wasn’t allowed. Better yet, every passenger should be required to test negative on day of travel to eliminate positive folks even traveling. Sure, there is potential for a few “false negatives” from those without heavy enough viral load but most positives from our travelers are found in arrival testing and would therefore show up in departure testing.

      I am grateful that those in high risk groups can now start receiving the vaccine if they want it. This is a significant step in reclaiming some “normalcy”.

      All that said, if borders are “closed” like we’re constantly told, flights should be operating at a bare minimum and travel should be need-based. We all know that frivolous travel is being approved (jet ski competition!) and that has to stop!

    • Anonymous says:

      Most countries in the world haven’t shut their airports, or require travelers to quarantine for 15 days, or track those travelers, or an island. Most countries just tell you to self isolate for a few days, the scale and numbers of people make it pretty difficult to do anything else (except NZ and Australia). The only option they are left with is to ban some flights. We are in a whole different situation where we deal with very low numbers of travelers and have them locked down until even if they all were positive, by the time they are let out, they can’t pass it on.

    • Anonymous says:

      The passengers will be in quarantine(as it has been all along), thereby picking up any virus carriers who won’t be allowed out until recovered, so this comment is fatuous.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because we are one of the only countries in the world with a proper quarantine program, most places you are told to quarantine and no one checks so they have to cancel flights.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you feel the UK should send us vaccine stock they need far more than us but they aren’t welcome themselves. Gotcha.

  15. anonymous says:

    Where can a senior citizen go the get vaccinated?

  16. Anonymous says:

    How can there be any misinformation, when the only actual information available is information the drug companies have released. It’s not like they would get anything wrong – is it?

    • Boo says:

      I believe the reference points to rumors and false information spread through social media which then becomes a game of “telephone” where incorrect rumors pass from gossip to gossip

    • McCarron McLaughlin says:

      Read this breif from one of the pharmaceutical companies to the FDA and draw your own conclusions! Pay close attention to some of the disclaimers at the end.


      • Anonymous says:

        You know that all 11 “Dislikes” didnt even bother to open or read that link right? I also try stay “informed” by only listening to one side and being spoonfed all that I need to know ….FAQs provided by the vaccine companies. Thats all I need to know.

        You selfish anti vaxers! Stop trying to warn and heed us of potential dangers. You obviously have disturbing ulterior motives to care about others’ lives and welfares so much. Please just worry about yourself and let everyone take their magic freedom vaccine!

        • Anonymous says:

          So selfish anti vaxxers should just drop their selfishness and accept your selfish desire to have the last word? They are not anti vaxxers, they just thread cautiously with covid vaccines.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Call me when the Oxford vaccine gets here.

  18. Researcher. says:

    I am over 70 and is ready to be vaccinated with the Oxford Vaccine. When will that vaccine be available in Cayman.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Let’s get this place opened up!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not until everyone who wants to be vaccinated has completed their course please. I don’t want to have to go into self-isolation because there are infected tourists here before I’ve been vaccinated.

      • Anonymous says:

        I also want my children to be able to be vaccinated before exposing them to any risk from tourists who are unwilling to quarantine.

  20. Anonymous says:

    So the privileged few will be vaccinated on Thursday morning – presumably followed by political contributors, party officials, assorted hangers on etc etc. Does anyone have any idea when or if the rest of us will be invited to receive the vaccine once the cameras are off?

    • Anonymous says:

      They really can’t win. if the premier and Dr Lee didn’t take it you would be saying “the politicians won’t take it themselves but are telling others to take it, it must be suspicious”. Still, I guess this way you get to whine either way don’t you? So that should keep you happy until the next article gives you your opportunity to whinge.

    • Anonymous says:

      It will be months and months yet before most of the population are covered. I’m 50, don’t work for the government and have no ‘connections’ so I’m sure the island will be opened up to infected tourists to come in long before I’ve had the chance to be vaccinated.

      • Anonymous says:

        It will be even longer for young/healthy persons in other countries to be vaccinated. Basically, the groups that most of our visitors are in will have a VERY long wait.

        Even if borders open in March, since Alden is requiring visitors to be vaccinated in lieu of quarantine, there won’t be an influx of tourists anytime soon. People aren’t going to able to be vaccinated and they’re not going to come quarantine for 2 weeks as most don’t even visit for that long.

  21. Anonymous says:

    How are people supposed to know when and where to show up to receive their vaccinations if they are in a high risk group or over 70? There is little point in it arriving if they have not put in place the logistics to deliver it to the people or if they intend to keep information on the vaccination process secret for the next few months.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree that the when/where/how should have been announced ages ago. We’ve known for ages that the vaccines were arriving on the 5th yet the actual process for receiving it is still a mystery! They should have had people signed up and ready to start receiving them TODAY!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Crazy to let tourists from U K to come Cayman, what happened to common sense ?

    • Anonymous says:

      What tourists?

    • Anonymous says:

      My point proven. 14 dislikes is 14 people who still dont understand the vaccine does not kill the virus.

      What scares me about this is that vaccinated people will think they can go anywhere without continuing to take precautions to protect those around them. This includes vaccinated visitors and local residents.

      At what point is the government going to educate the masses on the FAQS between the virus and the disease and that this vaccine is not a magic fix that stops SARSCOV2 OR Covid-19 in its tracks?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Misinformation like saying the vaccine is for the virus (ehich it doesnt stop) as opposed to the disease?

    • Anonymous says:

      My point proven. 14 dislikes is 14 people who still dont understand the vaccine does not kill the virus.

      What scares me about this is that vaccinated people will think they can go anywhere without continuing to take precautions to protect those around them. This includes vaccinated visitors and local residents.

      At what point is the government going to educate the masses on the FAQS between the virus and the disease and that this vaccine is not a magic fix that stops SARSCOV2 OR Covid-19 in its tracks?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Why not give the vaccine to the most vulnerable first and livestream (With their consent)? What encouragement is there with politicians who condone violence with their silence? What encouragement comes from a CMO implicated in imposing his own views on CBD?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Great news here. A major step in Caymans safe recovery & to move ahead out of the Covid19 crisis. Every small step from here is crucial to this endevour.Well done to the CIG & all critical parties involved, both in the U.K. as well as here in Cayman .

  26. Anonymous says:

    Lets all hope CICA are not clearing it through customs!

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