Pace of first vaccine dose slows down

| 15/02/2021 | 97 Comments

(CNS): Just 55 more people have received the first shot of a coronavirus vaccine since Friday, as public officials have been focused on delivering second doses. Government is aiming to vaccinate 90% of the over 60s with both doses so that it can reduce the quarantine period from 14 days to ten days by the end of this month. But the focus on ensuring this group has the full course means the pace of the overall programme could be falling behind.

From Saturday, all of those in stage two were invited to get their first doses, but by Monday evening, official figures indicated that the take-up in this group has not been significant. In the more than five weeks since the vaccination programme began, 9,366 people have received one shot and 6,926 of those have had the full two dose course of the Pfizer vaccine.

According to the HSA vaccination schedule, this week all the groups in stage 2 are being invited to be vaccinated. This will give the Public Health Department the opportunity to increase the number of people with at least some protection against the virus, which is still coming into the country through travellers, despite the requirement for pre-arrival negative tests.

Three positive results were recorded from 500 tests carried out over the weekend among the latest arrivals. This brings Cayman’s tally of recorded cases to 419.

There are currently 29 COVID-positive people in the Cayan Islands but none of them are showing any symptoms. There are at present 723 people in government quarantine or home isolation.

Anyone with travel questions should contact the Travel Cayman team via email
or call 1-345-945-0556 / 1-345-946-7858
Phone lines are open Monday through Friday 8.30am to 5pm.

Breach Tips Hotline: 943-7233 (943 SAFE)

See the consent form and the Vaccination Plan Brochure in the CNS Library here.

For more details on the vaccination programme and the vaccination schedule, visit the HSA website here. And for testing to accommodate new international requirements, see here.

For more information on COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands, visit the CIG site here.

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Comments (97)

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  1. _||) says:

    Welcome to Cayman, where we complain about the civil service providing vaccines free of charge to the public if there’s a queue, and we also complain just as much if there’s NO queue and a spacious air conditioned area.

    You literally cannot please everyone. If people would show up as scheduled instead of believing in stupid social media conspiracies about mark of the beast / microchips / bill gates genocide, then there would be a decent queue as scheduled and you wouldn’t have a reason to say “deh na anyone in line, lemme get mine, nurse”

    • Anonymous says:

      How long should we wait for these people? Fine – give all these multiple categories of people who are not even at risk of severe complications their time slot but if they don’t show up, move on to the next category and then the general public. If it’s taking this long for the over 60s to bother coming in, what’s going to happen when we have to wait for all the university students, supermarket workers, restaurant workers, bar workers, hotel workers, gas station workers, and those working in stores and the tourism industry to bother coming in. It’s ridiculous that they are just sitting on all these vaccines when there seems to be so many people wanting to get vaccinated. You can’t really blame the UK if they don’t send more vaccines – why would they when there doesn’t seem to be a lot concern about vaccinating people as quickly as possible here.

  2. Is it my turn, yet? says:

    Went there last week; I am Group 1, stage A. HSA Chief Nurse Ms Brown denied me as I was “not over 60 — who were their only priority last week.”

    Not a single soul in line.
    No one being vaccinated.
    Nurses sitting around doing nothing.
    Vaccines going warm….


    For your outstanding efforts in the COVID vaccine programme— Give the woman an OBE!

    • Anonymous says:

      may be it is simpler than that because people just don’t want to get vaccinated

      • Anonymous says:

        9:38 did. But the jobs worth wouldn’t let him.

      • Anonymous says:

        No its not..There are a lot of people under 60 that still haven’t gotten their 1st shot. When the first started out they gave it to every Tom, Dick and Harry and when people complained about that they stopped everyone with out ID. Now what has happened these power hungry civil servants rather than saying half way through the day that there are only a few people showing up and welcome others to come, they sit there and twiddle their thumbs..nothing but a cluster F when you put civil servants who get paid whether they do something or not. They don’t care and they don’t have the common sense to know that this is serious and wasting the vaccine or not vaccinating people when they are there is absolutely Stupid…

        400 a day..with ten lines that’s about 40 people per vaccinator..Let’s say that takes them two hours to do..what do they do for the rest of the day?

    • Anonymous says:

      Plane could be empty too and you’d still be turned around if it wasn’t your scheduled time to fly / didn’t have a ticket.

  3. Bert says:

    How many more persons in the 60’s Plus age category still need to get vaccinated in order to reach the 90 percent target set by government?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was there yesterday. No line at all. When I went, there were several open vaccination stations with nurses waiting for people.

    If CI doesnt speed up rollout, the UK will slow down deliveries of vaccine to CI. As of yesterday, 16,000 doses used meaning 22,000 doses left. What are the chances the UK will send another batch on the 25th with this excess supply? After the 25th, next BA flight is March 11th.

    This next three weeks schedule should have been compressed into 1.5 weeks at the most.

    • Anonymous says:

      At about 400 doses per day, it will take 55 days to run through that supply. With the efficient set up at ORIA, they can to multiples of this number.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed,but this is what happens when you have civil servants running these types of events. They just don’t understand the ethics and production necessary to get the job done..and they know they can’t get fired..

    • Anonymous says:

      This should be the plan: everyone over 60 gets their second doses after three week, then mass distribute first doses, and then wait 12 weeks for second doses like the UK for this mass group. This will give thousands of people partial protection, and start using up our supply.

      UK is not sending us anything on the 25th if we dont make a dent in the 22,000 unused doses.

      Dont let perfection be the enemy of good.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We are very very fortunate to have vaccination availability months before most first-world countries. That said, it’s a bit head-scratching to reconcile the vaccination rollout priority here. Myself and some family members were Stage 1 Group B and went at the earliest opportunity for first dose, and were grateful for that. We haven’t yet clocked our 21 days to second dose, yet this week, there have been 2nd doses given to Stage 2, Group A’s. I don’t understand how that group, that came later, could mathematically be many days ahead of us.

    In any case, it seems that the priority, right after Caregivers for 70+ are university students that want to head back to pandemic-land, even while all their courses are online. That smells a lot like political interference to put angsty teens ahead of those over 50, but I guess if there’s supply to do so…

    • Anonymous says:

      So you want the university students to come back in June and have to quarantine for the full period which must be costing government 2-3G in a facility?

      • Anonymous says:

        Dont send them back to Uni for the final 2.5 months and have them continue online.

      • Anonymous says:

        At present, isn’t the plan that – when the rules change – a full course of vaccination only reduces quarantine by 5 days?

        • Anonymous says:

          Four days actually, from 14 to 10.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s 15 as they don’t count the day you arrive and then they test you on day 14 – results not given until day 15.

          • Anonymous says:

            Plan but not law yet.
            Remember we have no government because of McWomanBasher

        • Anonymous says:

          Realistically, I wouldn’t rely on heavily-politicized and nationalistic miracle vaccine expectations, or the populist pre-election travel-easing plans from Alden. I expect he’ll walk those back shortly, as he does. Sobering international data suggests we shouldn’t be easing, but reverting/remaining at 14 days at least until the current “game-changing” B.1.351/B.1.1.248 variant boosters sometime Q3 2021.

      • Anonymous says:

        The teens don’t need to rush off to schools that are closed and online. They will still need to quarantine, even after both doses of this vaccine, because there are already strains circulating for which the Pfizer vax does almost nothing. Parents of students going abroad non-essentially should absolutely pay the Travel Time quarantine costs as a “stupid” tax. We should also be auditing the records of all of the absurd Travel Time requests of the last year and clawing back costs borne by the public that should have been 100% privately borne. Hundreds of thousands at least.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why can’t they quarantine with their family? Why should government has to continually pay when they can stay home and take their courses online?

        • Anonymous says:

          Hard to do practical’s & research projects online,

          So if my kid comes home my wife, my two other kids and myself all have to stop work/school for two weeks.
          All they have to do is give the kids the vaccine and sort out the policy as the data becomes available,
          The cost of the vaccine against quarantine is a no-brainer and we are not talking thousands here.

          • Anonymous says:

            The Pfizer vaccine doesn’t replace quarantine, only augments it.

            Of course, that’s a no-brainer.

          • Anonymous says:

            A lot of people need to travel but either can’t or have their lives and their families lives disrupted by the quarantine. Those people don’t get to jump to the front of the queue.

      • Anonymous says:

        As opposed to holding up the reopening of the economy by delaying the vaccination of those here and paying all those tourism workers $1500 a month?

      • Anonymous says:

        Or they could get the vaccine there – oh wait, they can’t, because in the US and the UK they are way down the priority list because they are not in nearly as much danger. We get the vaccines from the UK and then apply a completely different scale of priorities.

      • anon says:

        12.10pm Even with both shots, students will still have to undergo 15 day quarantine unless their mother is a senior civil servant.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I hope we get the Oxford vax. I think that would fill a niche that is presently unaddressed, as well as have a vaccine on hand that didn’t have such stringent temperature requirements.

      • Anonymous says:

        What niche exactly? And why not use the super-freezers now that we have bought them anyway.

        • Anonymous says:

          The folks who don’t fit the HSA criteria, as well as some of those who don’t want to take the Pfizer vaccination.

      • Anonymous says:

        Niche? You mean oxford only being 60% effective vs 95% and not responding to the variants? I’ll stick with pfizer.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I may be unpopular in pointing the elephant in the room – but we have 27 active cases, 100% of which have absolutely no symptoms (they are not sick).

    • Anonymous says:

      More than a year into this, how are there still people out there that don’t understand that an infected host can feel perfectly fine, even while hijacked cells are shedding viable virus particles? This is far sneakier than a flu. Temperature and symptoms don’t matter. Let’s just hope those 27 recover, and not decline, because almost 500,000 people had it go the other way, and I knew some of them. RIP.

      • Anonymous says:

        we understand…

      • Anonymous says:

        “Temperature and symptoms don’t matter.” Respectfully disagree. Its the dangers posed by this virus that matter. This virus might be sneaky, but its lethality is not what was projected when the WHO initially called a pandemic.

        That being said, many people suffer from many different types of diseases. Its never good when someone suffers from any disease. So with that in mind, anyone who doesn’t want to suffer from this one has the vaccine, which is good.

        There is evidence that this vaccine does not prevent infection. So it begs the question: why is this being “strongly encouraged” on the bulk of the population? Vaccinating 100% of the population would not necessarily prevent the virus from spreading.

        Those who are, and those who think they are at risk should take it, and if it saves a life, then its done its job.

        Questioning what we are told is a good thing and a healthy debate is necessary to get to good conclusions. I’m worried to see lack of either of these in this current circumstance.

        • Anonymous says:

          There is evidence that seatbelts aren’t 100% reliable either, yet you still click in. The point is to reduce spread as much as possible. If we took on your “what’s the point” mantra, things would be a lot worse.

          • Anonymous says:

            The point is to reduce spread but there is still no proof that these vaccines reduce/prevent catching or transmitting the virus.

            However, they are proving to be good at reducing symptoms significantly and avoiding moderate/severe symptoms.

            • Anonymous says:

              “there is still no proof that these vaccines reduce/prevent catching or transmitting the virus.”

              Completely false, and since you couldn’t provide any evidence to back up such claims, I will rightfully dismiss it without evidence.

              I’ll give you a hint to start, though, compare Israel’s vaccination and infection rates.

        • Anonymous says:

          “This virus might be sneaky, but its lethality is not what was projected when the WHO initially called a pandemic.”

          Great point! What government needs to focus on is the ACTUAL risk to persons and not the originally PERCEIVED risk!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, President Trump we understand the China virus is fake..these people are not sick and they cannot spread the virus..sic

      Why are these people so hard headed and don’t understand that being asymptomatic does not guarantee that you won’t spread the virus..

      Come on children in China knows this by now.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s because not all of those are actually positive! They’re “positive” like the Red Bay student was…..overamplification of test resulting in false positives. 🙄

  7. Anonymous says:

    I had my first vaccine today at ORIA. Very efficient – staff great – world class!

    BUT – After I received it and sat in the seating area for 15 mins to ensure that I had no immediate after effects, I left the building and there was no queue whatsoever.

    Staff told me that they can administer (easily) 4,500 per day. In other words, subject to supply (and the UK has so much of the vaccine, it doesn’t know what to do with it), the whole island could be vaccinated within in a month.

    The problem is, there is a large portion of local Caymanians who are just not taking it.

    It is, of course, voluntary. Nonetheless, if people decline to take it, then surely its up to them (and not the Government or the community)to bear the responsibility of the health risks of COVID-19.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm…. I’m Caymanian and I’d love to get my shot, but I’m only 46. Patiently waiting for my turn. Not sure why you say local Caymanians won’t get it. Open it up to those of us willing to stand in line… I’ll be there!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I like the schedule and the system, and i do think it’s important to get everyone the second dose. But i don’t want to see us slow down with the first doses for folks. I want that 14 day curfew reduced to 10 and then 7!

    Maybe a standby line should be in place for folks who missed their day, or others who are ready and willing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lee says no!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, it’s not a voluntary curfew. You aren’t allowed out of your house/secured quarantine facility. The virus incubation time is still 14 days. That medical reality doesn’t change with vaccination, especially when the vaccine is for a pandemic strain from mid-last year. The landscape has changed, and hopefully the vaccines will help some immune systems to respond better. We still don’t want any of the virus strains here, especially as the new strains are becoming the dominant strains.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So people who want the vaccine cant get it because the HSA is waiting for those who cant be bothered or dont want their second dose to turn up?

  10. Anonymous says:

    “Public officials have been focussed on delivering second doses….the pace of the overall programme could be falling behind”?
    It shouldn’t fall behind:
    The published HSA schedule for the next three weeks (17 vaccination days) shows 14 of the 17 days set aside exclusively for first doses, only 2 of the 17 days set aside exclusively for second doses, and 1 of the 17 days set aside for either first or second doses……

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hardly surprising only 55 people turned up. Monday 15 was advertised as first jab for Stage 2 Group A and B, surname A and B. NO second jabs. Stage 2 Group A is “anyone 16-60 with relevant medical conditions predisposing to Covid”. However, Stage 1 Group B included “adults with a relevant health status”. Not a whole lot of difference (if any?). No doubt everyone, regardless of age, with any sort of arguably “relevant” medical issue already got vaccinated under Stage 1. It is not as though anyone would have been checking the medical details too closely. Likewise, Stage 2 Group B is “essential workers, teachers, school staff”. However, Stage 1 Group C was “workers essential to government continuity”. You can bet significant numbers of people (including no doubt most of the Civil Service) persuaded the higher-ups that they were “essential to government continuity’ as opposed to simply “essential workers”. So most of the “essential workers” will already have been vaccinated in Stage 1.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The schedule doesn’t seem very logical if the intention is to minimise serious illness and death among the local population. Risk of a bad outcome is directly related to age. Under the current published schedule, by March 6 they will not even have got to the first jab of group 2C (those living with persons vaccinated in group 1). Those in groups 1 and 2 include significant numbers of people who will be healthy individuals in their teens, twenties and thirties (and I see they have also just bumped up university students returning to university in the priority list). Few if any of those people are at risk of serious illness or death. People who are aged 60 were able to be vaccinated from 15th January. Based on the current schedule, people who are aged 59 and who are not in a “special” category, are unlikely to get their first jab until some point in May at the current rate (and assuming we continue to get supplies from the UK). Why is there such a massive time delay (potentially up to four
    months) between vaccinating people who are 60 and people who are 59. Surely there should be as much focus on age groups as on job categories when prioritising if the intention is to prevent serious illness and death rather than prevent people just being off work sick with a mild flu. At the very least you would expect some prioritising of age groups until you got everyone over 45 or 50 vaccinated.

    • Anonymous says:

      University students wanting to frolic abroad should literally be among the final rollout categories. Nobody should be going away to school right now, especially when all is offered online, and there are no physical classes, or labs to attend. Who are the politically-connected entitled parents that have inserted them into the priority rollout schedule right after Care Workers for 70+? Going away to phantom online classes shouldn’t even be Travel Time eligible, if we’re being honest. Not during the tail-end of a record second wave, looking ahead a few weeks to the third wave projections. Negligent parenting 404.

      • Anonymous says:

        I sick of my child complaining, eating everything, running the AC @ UK temperatures, driving my car and leaving it on empty.
        Please accelerate students so I can get some peace and quiet.

      • Anonymous says:

        You forgot an important point…those students are VERY LOW RISK of going poorly with Covid. It is completely asinine to bump them ahead of other groups.

        • Anonymous says:

          The whole purpose of vaccinating the university students is so their household also becomes eligible for the vaccine and then they won’t have to quarantine when they return. After the over 60s and essential workers are vaccinated, one of the main purposes of the vaccination program here is to allow the privileged few to travel freely. Alden even said as much on one of the press conferences when he encouraged Caymanians to get vaccinated so that they can travel to Miami again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I also don’t understand this – especially since they are concerned that vaccinated people may not become sick from COVID but will still be able to spread it. This is supposedly why my vaccinated family members will not be able visit and stay with me until I myself am vaccinated. Those in their fifties are obviously more at risk than the younger people being vaccinated now. It seems like a lot of this is being done just to make it easier for certain segments of the population to travel without quarantining while others are being left vulnerable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps the idea by vaccinating everyone that works with the public first is that they can just have everyone else work from home when there is community spread again. That way they could easily lockdown the unvaccinated if needed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone in the “civil service” is now eligible for the vaccine, even if you work at an office desk job in the gov’t building not dealing with the public.

        And “bartenders” are also considered essential workers?

        • Anonymous says:

          Ya but once the civil service people and everyone working with the public – grocery stores, retail stores, gas stations, restaurants, bars have been vaccinated, what’s left? Most of the people who won’t have been vaccinated will work in offices and they can just work from home so that the border can be opened.

          • Anonymous says:

            Even if the unvaccinated 59 year olds all work at home, they still need to go out to the grocery store, bank, gas station etc so are still at risk of catching Covid with serious consequences. And perhaps the unvaccinated 59 year olds would also like to go to a bar or a restauarant with the same degree of safety as the vaccinated 60 year olds. But on the current schedule where they are at the back of the queue behind 20 year olds you are potentially putting 59 year olds in de facto lockdown if we do open up the border.

            • Anonymous says:

              Exactly but this does seem to be the plan. When the borders open, the unvaccinated will become second-class citizens that are unable to travel freely without quarantining and worse have live in a de facto lockdown or risk exposing themselves to covid from those that have been vaccinated. It’s nice that the returning university students and vaccinated residents that go shopping in Miami won’t have to quarantine but what happens to those of us in our 50s that are still concerned about getting covid?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, of course!

  13. Anonymous says:

    It might help increase the numbers if the staff screeners at the front door actually understood how to read their own schedule. This morning at 9 am they were insisting that teachers with A and B last names couldn’t get theirs today and sent us away even though it was written on the schedule.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ahh, No, school staff are supposed to come on Friday. Or are we arguing teachers are not staff now?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Open it up first come first serve with a separate line for those in the priority groups….kind of how the supermarkets ran during lockdown where seniors and priority workers could jump the queue. I’m ready

    • Anonymous says:

      Well this idea would work too efficiently so why would they want to do that?

      Actually, I heard that if you go later in the day after the ‘elderly’ people in line have gone through, you can get it because they do not want any leftover (for that day) to go to waste. Makes sense. This should be publicized.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why are they not allowing everyone that wants to get to get it.

    Opening up the airport all day for 55 people is stupid. They should have announced today that anyone that wants it can get it.

    I have been waiting forever because I am in the last category and it’s just plain stupid at this point not to allow anyone that wants it to get it..

    What say you Alden, John John, Governor?

  16. Timmy says:

    6:36. What a silly question. The private sector is not in charge of the roll out.

    The public service is doing an amazing job. Stop these elementary questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where did 6:36 comment on the job Govt was doing? They asked what was happening with defrosted doses which is a fair question whether the Govt is doing a great job or not.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I got my first shot today. In and out within a half hour. The 10 minute sit down took longer than getting in and receiving the dose.

    8 hours later, just feels a little sore at the site. But every other vaccine I’ve gotten in my life has felt the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not like “…every other vaccine…”

      Even COVID boosters are different, some are true vaccines, and some are immune boosters.

      COVID Vaccines platforms:

      Human adenovirus => Sputnik V, Johnson&Johnson, CanSino

      Chimpanzee adenovirus => AstraZeneca

      Dead COVID19=> Sinopharm, Sinovac

      Synthetic COVID S-protein => Novovax

      mRNA => Pfizer, Moderna

      • Anonymous says:

        Me: literally took it, described how * I * felt

        You, who is probably scared of microchips and the mark of the beast: “tHiS cOvId VaCcInE iS eViL uR lYiNg”

  18. Anonymous says:

    Time to open it up to everyone. Everyday should be packed.

    • Saw it coming 💉 says:

      @7:13pm is so correct. Instead of turning people away XXXX, they should have used discretion and give to those who proved to be ordinary residents. As the saying goes “make haste while the sun shines”. I very much doubt you’ll see such a uptake again.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Pfizer vaccine is showing 94% real world effectiveness in Israel against original Covid, but it’s also showing very limited effect against new strains. Even mild COVID case “recovered’s” from a few months ago, are now hospitalized in critical condition with South African variant.

    We must adapt to the changing reality that these variants have been spreading globally since October, and that today’s vaccines might not deliver necessary safety as far as “opening up” logic goes. This is far from over.

    I don’t really care how many Dart-owned Hotel managers are fatigued and kicking sand about their business interruption: there is no acceptable level of community-spread COVID in the Cayman Islands. We don’t want to all have to wear masks and distance just to allow some Trumpian millionaires from the USA to come down here and drink Daiquiris at Bar Jacks.

  20. Anonymous says:

    CNS you say all in group 2 but what about 2 C those living with group 1, is that included now?

    CNS: So sorry! I forgot to add the relevant links. Added now at the bottom. I think if you follow the one to the HSA site, it should all be clear.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not. It was then it changed but tourists are still coming in for the vaccine and getting it. Blows my mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      2C is not yet on the schedule (through March 6). Based on previous experiences with the scheduling, if the uptake for 2B is strong, they might not start 2C immediately after due to wanting to ensure second dose availability. Also might depend on timing for the next shipment.

  21. Anonymous says:

    What is happening to the doses they defrost if folks aren’t showing up to receive the vaccine? Are they just letting them go to waste? My understanding was that you couldn’t refreshed them after they’re defrosted… so might as well be giving it to folks that want it.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      They can be refrigerated. Diluted doses at room temperature for 6 hours. 5-6 doses per vial. No spares

      • Anonymous says:

        There’s a 120-hour time limit on refrigeration.

        In the press briefing, Dr. Lee said we had the capacity to vaccinate more people daily, but that the demand wasn’t there.

        Glad to see us moving to Stage 2 and I hope folks are lining up around the block to get it like they are in other parts of the world. Otherwise, I think we might be taking our good fortune a little for granted.

        • Anonymous says:

          I was there yesterday. No line at all. When I went, there were several open vaccination tables with nurses waiting for people.

    • Anonymous says:

      They will last for five days refrigerated, but out of the deep freeze.

    • Anonymous says:

      Doses are prepared and delivered from storage continuously as needed to my understanding to prevent this same situation.

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