Airport vaccine works with a minimum of fuss

| 01/02/2021 | 32 Comments

Stuart Diamond writes: On the afternoon of Thursday, 28 January 2021, shortly before 2:00pm I attended ORIA terminal building for the first of my two COVID-19 injections. My previous two attempts at the George Town hospital and West Bay Clinic were “no joy” events. I was expecting no difference this third time.

When I arrived at the departures terminal, there was a line of about 150 orderly people waiting in the shade outside. When 2:00pm rolled around, uniformed and competent staff moved through those waiting, began triage and quickly sorted the crowd out into prioritised lines: 70+, 60+, front-line workers, etc.

Everyone either brought their own mask or had one issued to them. Social distancing was practised and maintained. Uniformed Security was abundant. All staff security, medical and general were polite, knowledgeable and helpful.

The lines started to move inside the building very quickly. Everyone was funneled through ID checks into the spacious air-conditioned building to be further sorted, allocated to a treatment line and then vaccinated. There were many seats available but in my own case the sorting happened so fast that I never even had time or need to use a seat.

After some further questions and answers, I was directed to a vaccination bay, injected and then sent to a resting bay for ten minutes observation. There was abundant seating for recovering patients. Including that ten minutes, I was in and out of the terminal in less than 30 minutes – all achieved politely, professionally and with a minimum of fuss.

The terminal was the perfect choice for this important Public Health operation. Large, undercover, air-conditioned, built with security in mind, competently staffed and designed with “customer flow” as an inherent feature. It was a very comfortable experience from start to finish and a very good example of lateral thinking and inter-departmental co-operation. It was a creative use at a time when the building was under-used; it made use of under-utilized human and physical resources and made the whole vaccination experience speedy and efficient for all.

Congratulations to everyone who made it so. If only all CI Government projects used this type of initiative and co-operation!

One small criticism: more public buses could have been made available for those who could not access or exit the airport in private vehicles.

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Category: Health, Medical, Viewpoint

Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I went Saturday afternoon too. It was not busy. The staff were nice.. The staff at the door were polite but trying to keep order. I had no mask and a few other ladies had no mask. One of them who didn’t have a car gave me money to buy them a mask .. I went around the corner to a merchant whom I knew had masks and paid for them and then gave the ladies their money back.. Everyone was kind to one another and if you needed the vaccine for good reason and they were not overcome and busy the staff tried to accommodate you, knowing everyone would need the vaccine at some point anyway so why to give it if they can.. We waited for 10 minutes after the shot to make sure there was no reaction in a post-shot waiting area. Then we left. I saw some friends there also getting the vaccine at the same time. Everybody was nice. I think Saturdays afternoons are the time to go because most folks are at the beach. I’ve heard the Pfizer shot is the one to get because it’s the refrigerated on that doesn’t;t keep as well. The ones to fear are the later batches which are full of preservatives to allow them to keep at room temperature. You can imagine later vaccines will be fortified to deal with variants of the bug too so better to get an early one and tick the box. People are just not dropping like flies from the Pfizer. You get an official looking passport sized piece of cardboard you can put in your passport afterward to show you go the vaccine.

    • Anonymous says:

      “if you needed the vaccine for good reason and they were not overcome and busy the staff tried to accommodate you, knowing everyone would need the vaccine at some point anyway so why to give it if they can.” – so you mean a “good reason” that doesn’t include falling into one of the groups specifically identified to receive the vaccine as a priority? You are basically telling us that would vaccinate anyone who turned up who had a “good reason” since, what the hey, everyone needs to get it in due course anyway? Just ignoring the fact that so far we don’t have enough for everyone so are meant to be vaccinating the high risk people first.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Airport – literally the only place on Grand to be guaranteed to have COVID + cases due to incoming travellers.
    Apparently no conference facilities or event venues, even without tourism, are available or other location, such as any medical clinic or one of the hospitals…
    What about Royal Watler? there are no passengers arriving there at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great point but no parking at Royal Watler unfortunately.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you mingle with thousands travelers? Hugged and kissed them?
      If not, Airport is as safe as any other place in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a conditioned and exercised reflex for seasoned residents to be skeptical of coordinated activities in the Cayman Islands. Normally there might be cause to be, but in this case, the worries are unfounded. We have very few international flights coming and going and the staff are very professional, kind, and proficient. It’s obviously being done well outside any period when travelers are occupying the building, masks are worn, and care is being taken to clean limited touch surfaces. Vaccines were in coolers. The whole process was very quick and orderly. Less than 5 mins in line, then in observation area for 15 mins, and departing in my car in less than 25 mins later. No charge for long term parking. Slight soreness in arm at injection site, and very mild sense of tiredness for 48hrs, similar to a regular flu shot. A+ effort, and looking forward to second dose. We are so lucky to live in the Cayman Islands.

  3. Anonymous says:

    People are struggling during this pandemic. Why isn’t there another pension withdrawal if the borders are lockdown another 6 months? This is an emergency relief

    • Anonymous says:

      The borders will be closed for more than another 6 months! Seek employment! Jobs exist.

    • Anonymous says:

      I call BS on that. Seems like all the pension monies were wasted on things people don’t need like posh car upgrades, new TVs and even timeshare purchases on the same island they live on! People can’t waste that pension pot now on luxuries and then expect the government to bail them out when they don’t have enough retirement income later. Stupidity.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s about getting money out of disgraceful pension funds that grossly underperform the benchmarks while having high MER for those fat fat pension managers making millions. Give me my f$cking money so I can invest it in QQQ

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly right! I was saving and planning to buy a new car when the 2020 models went in sale only took find ALL were sold out!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I went on Saturday and I felt like a Jew arriving at a death camp and the HSA Nurse was like the receiving guard that decided who lived or went to the chambers.

    Not the Florence Nightingale Pledge I took or the or Rotarian one my husband took. I felt sorry for the ones she turned away.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are an complete idiot. To compare anything to the death camps such as this is completely unacceptable and despicable.

      You might need to reeducate yourself on the how the death camps worked…

    • Anonymous says:

      4:21 a visit to the mental health ward is highly recommended

    • Anonymous says:

      World Class!! I have to say it. Cayman is leading the world.

      I am so proud to live here.

      I have to say that the positive view points and comments are so refreshing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So do you get done sort official stamp that you’ve had the vaccine and then are able to return for the 2nd one?

    • Anonymous says:

      They know from the chip.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are given a card with the details.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. You also get an official Covid Vaccine card, signed, and stamped, with your second vaccine dose date. Nobody gets the second dose without the card, so keep it safe. You can also bring your yellow WHO travel vaccination booklet and nurse will fill it in, sign, and stamp so a proof of vax is always in there too.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are given a card with details of which vaccine, which dose, what date to return etc etc.
      Very thorough.
      They make sure you are completely clear as to when to return for your second dose.
      Fantastic service at ORIA!

  6. Say it like it is says:

    Agreed the airport location earns top marks for efficiency, however it seems that quite a few found the second shot caused somewhat more discomfort than the first, for whatever reason.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s publicly stated that more reaction after 2nd dose is not abnormal.

    • Anonymous says:

      “for whatever reason.”

      Hmm, could it be that a vaccine was invoking an immunue response to train your immune system to fight the actual virus?

      Do you sweat when exercising?

      Think people. Or you’ll start believing it’s microchips.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree it was a painless (except for my left arm) process. I went on Saturday afternoon and was in and out in less than 20 minutes, which included 15 minutes post injection time. I am really wondering if those eligible are really taking advantage or if the system is really that efficient. See you in two weeks for shot #2.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I still want to know how their keeping the vaccine at the required freezing temperatures at the airport.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not at the freezing point when administered! Obviously!

      Dr. Lee explained the various steps of the thawing process very well in one of the press conferences.

    • Anonymous says:

      Frozen Pfizer vaccine vials thawed to fridge temps keep for 5 days. Room temp vials are diluted and need to be used within 6 hours. These vax dates and locations are never open for more than a few hours, well within specs, and they are kept in small portable coolers, by people who do this for a living.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dry ice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go there and check it out for yourself! And get the vaccine while you’re there.

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