Airport vaccine clinic opens to all

| 05/03/2021 | 78 Comments
Cayman News Service
Public Health Nurse Annie Price receives COVID vaccine

(CNS): All residents over the age of 16 who would like to be vaccinated against COVID-19 can now attend the airport clinic on Grand Cayman to get their first shot. But to avoid crowds, health professionals are conducting the final stage alphabetically. Those whose second name begins with A were the first on the list for Friday, as officials press ahead with the plan to inoculating over 70% of the population against the virus.

The UK will be sending almost 20,000 more vaccine doses on next week’s British Airways flight, with another consignment expected at the end of the month.

“Based on our current vaccine supply and the doses arriving in March, the Cayman Islands is now able to make this vaccine available to everyone over 16 years of age,” said Governor Martyn Roper, who has been behind the efforts to ensure Cayman has had the vaccines it needs despite the global shortages.

“Supply of vaccines remains a challenge globally, but the UK’s continued support has enabled us to further open our vaccination programme,” Roper said in a release about the expanded programme. “I encourage those that have not yet received their first vaccine to come forward to ensure we continue the work to keep Cayman safe.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee said that over 25.5% of the estimated population has received at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with over 8,800 having completed the two-dose course by Friday. “The Cayman Islands has been in an incredibly fortunate position to have been able to vaccinate its population so early on in the global campaign against Covid-19 disease,” he added.

Government is hoping that the vaccination programme is the way to reopen the borders and begin the long road back to recovery for tourism, but this means that the population will be at risk unless everyone who can be vaccinated receives both doses before quarantine restrictions are lifted, especially those over 60.

“We are still urging all persons over 60 years old to come forward to receive the vaccine,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez. “Statistics show the older you are, the more likely you are to have complications if you contract COVID-19. Therefore, it is even more important that persons in this age group get fully vaccination to protect themselves and those around them.”

Dr Williams-Rodriguez said that the common side effects from the vaccine includes redness or soreness at the injection site, muscle aches, fever, headache, chills and tiredness. So far, public officials have reported no serious allergic reactions to the shots.

“Side effects from the vaccine are proving to be minor compared to the symptoms you could have if you are sick with COVID-19,” he said. “The benefits of getting the vaccine far outweigh the risk of contracting the virus,” he added, as he urged people to get the full course.

People arriving to be vaccinated are urged to come at various times during the opening hours to help avoid long queues. However, Dr Williams-Rodriguez said, “The line moves quickly and one inside the airport you can expect the process to take 15-20 minutes, as we require everyone to rest at least 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination.”

Individuals receiving their second dose are reminded that the date noted on the vaccination card for the second dose is the earliest date in which you can receive the vaccine. If you received your first dose at a District Health Centre you can receive your second dose at the airport. Anyone who was in earlier groups can also come at any time regardless of their name and those over 60 continue to be given priority.

If you are home bound and unable to attend one of the vaccination clinics, please contact the Flu Hotline or your local HSA District Health Centre and arrangements will be made with a Public Health nurse to provide your vaccine in the comfort of your home. The public is reminded to adhere to the published schedule and plan to get the vaccine throughout the day to limit congestion at the vaccination clinic.

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.

Vaccination Clinic Hours at ORIA:
Monday – Friday 9am-12pm & 1:30-4pm,
Saturday 9am-12pm & 1:30-3pm.  

For Dose 1, please fill out the consent form before arrival. Download the form here.

Everyone must present photo identification to receive the vaccine and demonstrate they are ordinarily and legally resident e.g. with initial permission to remain in the Islands for at least six months.

People who have received their first dose are reminded to get their second dose 21 days later or no longer than 12 weeks after the first dose.

When receiving your 2nd dose, you MUST also bring along your vaccination card reflecting your 1st dose.

*Doctors’ notes and employer letters are no longer required for Stage 2.
*Vaccination cards are NOT to be laminated.
*Persons 60 years and older will be given priority.
*Facemasks are required.

HSA Flu Hotline: 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 or

See the Vaccination Plan Brochure in the CNS Library here.

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

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)

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (78)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CNS, would you be able to get some clarity on this? A friend of mine went today and her last name starts with T. She said it was not busy at all and no one asked her any questions. I would like to go get mine but don’t want to be embarrassed by anyone telling me to leave.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reality is that once inside the building, no one else will give you any trouble. It depends who is, or should be, checking for names outside. If you have a doctor, just get a letter from them and you can go any day you want. Mine gave me one at no charge.

  2. Right ya so says:

    They opened it up to everyone on Thursday (presumably all in Stage 2 who wanted the shot had it?), if you got there, live here, had ID to prove it, they let you in. I was in and out in less than 30 minutes. Letter days were announced on Thursday on the HSA website & various media sites. The information was out there, not quite sure how anyone missed it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Question: My last name is an A. I didn’t know about this until Saturday morning. Does this mean I have to wait until A’s comes around again?

  4. Anonymous says:

    CNS, the headline is misleading. The vaccine clinic is open using the alphabet system and people are being turned away!

    • SSM345 says:

      I am wondering which name they count with those who have double-barreled last names? Is it the first or second i.e. Smith-Ebanks. This caused a lot of confusion during lock-down when shopping was done alphabetically……

      • Anonymous says:

        Assume it’s same as during lockdown. Alden was very specific during lockdown that is was first of the two last names.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why are people confused about last name days? They said from the get go it was open to everyone 16 and up based on alphabetical order.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, this was said in all news articles. Everyone in my 200 person office were aware of the letter days.

      • Anonymous says:

        Obviously you work at the HSA but it was not communicated that way from the beginning otherwise why would people be showing up at the wrong time?

        • Anonymous says:

          Well it was announced that way and was posted on HSA website from Thursday. I don’t work for HSA.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they are inconsistent. Thursday they let anyone in – no name or group checks. Friday they insisted on surname A. My wife went on Saturday- surname B – and they didn’t even check her name – saw she had a Cayman passport and waved her in without even checking it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I went On Saturday and my last name is D. No problems.

        Unfortunately, it’s Cayman. It’s who you know. There is never a long line there. I think if you show up they should just go ahead and get it done.

        It is probably thought for Government to stretch it out so that the people working there get more hours and overtime. There is absolutely no consistency or sense to it. They change it from day to day so I guess it is just the luck of the draw.

      • Anonymous says:

        I went on Saturday. My last name begins with issues getting in at all.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Over 16 or 16 and over? Make your mind up.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe there are residents complaining about Cayman Island’s privileged access to supply and rollout pace. His Holiness the Dali Lama is only now getting his first shot. Chill and be thankful. We are literally months ahead of most of the planet. Average Canadian won’t be getting an AZ shot until June or July!

    • Anonymous says:

      Says the person that jumped the line and already has the vaccine.

      I think what people are asking for is a more reasoned approach to how the vaccine is being distributed. Vaccinating less than 400 people per day when you could possibly be doing 3 times that amount is ridiculous and stupid.

      We have ten lines at the airport each averaging less than 40 jabs per day. The clinic doesn’t open until 9am and closes for an hour and a half for lunch 12n-1:30pm, right when most people could get off from lunch to go get their vaccination. It is only open until 5pm so if you work days or live in one of the outer districts you have very little chance of catching them open. Add to this the stupidity, of doing it by random last name and only one assigned day the senselessness of this would make anyone complain.

      We are not short on vaccines like the US and UK are. We have plenty and the objective should be getting it into people’s arms as efficiently and as soon as possible.

      My suggestion would be to forget about the last name specific days and work on a system like we did during lockdown allowing folks to have at least two or three options per week. We should also not close down during the lunch hour as this is the opportune time for people to get away from work in order to get their vaccination.

      Common sense needs to prevail. We need to re-evaluate and do this in the best way to allow all residents to get vaccinated on a timely basis.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are Saturday’s too. So you can find a day. Quit complaining and just get it done. Took me 30 mins in and out.

        • Anonymous says:

          Saturdays seem to be the only day when they don’t seem to check or care. If that is the case, why not tell us that? Going there hoping that you can get the vaccine and then turned away is just stupid. I’m there, stick the damn needle in my arm instead of taking them back to the hospital to storm them.. It is not like the airport is swarming with people..

          What is with shutting down for 1 hour and a half at lunch time?..We are not in Mexico were the people need to take a siesta.

          Dragging this out for another two or three weeks is just absolutely asinine.

      • Geo says:

        If you want a vaccine bad enough, you will find a way to get there on the day that you are due to get it. You need to quit complaining, because the fact is That in less than two weeks, every adult who wants to have a vaccine will have had an opportunity to get their first shot. I cannot believe that you were still complaining about this, nothing is ever fast enough. I believe this has gone extremely quickly, and there’s no need to put extra medical staff on for a 24 hour a day vaccine clinic. Ridiculous. Wait your week and a half and you’ll have your first shot, and then you can stop complaining.

        • Anonymous says:

          And just how did you get yours already Geo? Is your last name A or B…seems like you found a way to get around the system already.

          If every Ebanks in Cayman can get there on their assigned day and get their jab I will be impressed particularly when it is an E-H day not just E only..

          Something tells me the line that day will resemble the lines outside Foster during lock down. I am doing a drive by and taking some photos of the lines on Wednesday this should be fun..

          Of course, the line up for last name Q only next Monday should be fun too. Cayman has so many people with the last name Q we definitely need one special day for them.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not Canada. In Canada, people would be protesting in the streets if less than 400 people were getting vaccinated a day.

      A simple idea would be to hire more nurses from the private sector to work one or two days a week and don’t close down for an hour and a half for lunch. There are lots of retired doctors and nurses that would be happy to assist..Sometimes thinking outside of the box can be a good thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. 932am with all that you have said on greatfullness why is it that our government is so eager to flood this place by opening up to these destinations knowing this information. Immunization works so let it effectively work by all completing the vaccination program Make sense ??

    • Anonymous says:

      I once saw him in in a pizza shop.
      He said “Can you make me one with everything”

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ten minutes in the queue and ten minute wait afterwards today(Saturday) fast and efficient; very well done HSA or whoever is running it!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Who decided surnames beginning with the letter Q would be allotted the same amount of time (1 day) as E,F,G and H combined? And why is U given a whole day while M,N,O and P are crammed into a single Saturday with shorter opening hours?

    • Anonymous says:

      You actually make a very good point…..

    • Anonymous says:

      I am still baffled at the reasoning for these stupid rules..Who makes these up? We have gone now from age groups to surname letters.

      Can someone please tell me the rational of forcing everyone with say the letter A to go on a certain day with no alternative? What if you can’t go on that day? Why do some days only have one letter and others have as much as 4 or 5? Do they really believe that we have more people with last names beginning with Q than we have with E,F, G and H..If anyone making these decisions is Caymanians they would know they need at least a couple of days for the Ebanks’ alone..

      Honest to God, I believe this is down to nothing but someone trying to exert the power of the civil service.

      I went on Friday after hearing it was open to everyone, only to be told it wasn’t my last name day..Seriously, there were at most ten people standing in line at the end of the day and they are turning away people because they don’t have the last name for that day. My god, people, have a little bit of common sense and use some flexibility.

      Instead of wasting people time assign days like we did during lockdown(A-K and L-Z) so that people have at least 2 or 3 days a week as options that they can go. If I can’t go next Wednesday then I have to wait until Z is completed..three weeks from now..ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS AND STUPID!!!!

      Somebody needs to take control of this and make common sense prevail.

      Is it Dr. Lee making these decisions or some other fool fool in the HSA?

      • Anonymous says:

        Stop whining. Whatever day you go on you will be in and out in 30 minutes. Gawd.

      • Anonymous says:

        And if you go on an A-K day, and there are 2,000 people in line, and you have you wait for 5 hours, I bet you will be the first one to complain.

        • Anonymous says:

          right we are going to get 2000 people to get off work and get to the airport on the same day..that is why for 2 weeks you have 3 or 4 alternate days. If you go and there is a long line you come back in a day or so..right now they make you stand in line just so they can tell you it’s not your day. They are closed from 12n-1:30p, the prime lunch hour.. Now tell me why losing this hour and a half is necessary. Furthermore, why are there no evening hours for people like me that work in the East End and get there during the day?

          I say it is no more than government bureaucracy to rack more expense for us the citizens of this country and this process should not be taking this long.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is outright stupidity!

      Whoever is doing the planning here must be on vaccinated with something else or living in la la land.

      It sure can’t be a Caymanian because school children in china knows where the larger amounts of last names are and I can tell you it isn’t the letter Q.

      Hopefully, they get this changed into something that makes more sense.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’ll tell you what should be open… another pension fund withdrawal from those grossly incompetent market underperforming and excessively overcharging 1.5% fee pensions.
    No Government stimulus cheques like every other country then there should be another pension fund withdrawal

    • Anonymous says:

      All I saw was investment into consumables or depreciating assets, like a new Audi.

    • Anonymous says:

      1.5% on multi-advisor funds with 5% MER. 15% equity gain year (which would be an irregularly good year) means 7.5% gross performance on a “balanced” portfolio, per the zero interest outdated pre-2008 investment allocation models, then subtract 6.5% expenses and Cayman’s “savers” are netting 1% annual gains, if they are lucky. My mattress might offer better returns.

    • Anonymous says:

      yep and buy bitcoin

  11. Anonymous says:

    I went today and the lines were not long at all. Unfortunately, when I got to the front of the line I was told to come back in two weeks because it wasn’t my last name day..Talk about absolutely pissed and a waste of my time.

    I cannot believe the stupidity and bureaucracy. I told her that not only the Nurse but Dr. Lee said this morning on the talk show that it was open to all now. She then said, that there are new rules in place now and only people with the last name A can get theirs done today.

    Now folks, Dr. Lee nor the Nurse on Cayman Crosstalk said anything about this Surname letter day. I took a late lunch hour just to ensure I got mine done today only to find out after standing in line that HSA had changed the rules again…this is so ridiculous! What will happen to all of those people with the last name starting with “A” that didn’t turn up today thinking they could go tomorrow or any other day? Worse this was only announced today! Did they expect everybody with last name beginning with “A” to run to the airport or miss their day?

    I really would like to know who makes up these ridiculous bureaucratic rules. First of all, I am standing there in front of this woman ready to take my shot after standing in the sun only to be told to go away for two weeks..Isn’t the objective to get shots in arms as soon as possible? I’m there ready, willing and able with no more than five people standing behind me. Why not just say to me, wait until these five are done and we will get you in. Doesn’t anybody think sensibly anymore or is it the power of being able to control and say no to people the way to go?

    So, now I have to go back in two weeks when I could have literally been done today..

    If I can give a suggestion to those that make these spur of the moment decisions that rather than doing a letter a day, why not alternate days like we did during lockdown. For example A-K Mondays and Wednesdays and J-Z Tuesday and Thursday and anyone on Fridays. We have the vaccines sitting there and the main objective is to get shots in arms as quick as possible. This foolishness of kicking people out who are there and can get their shot done needs to stop. I could understand this when we were doing the most vulnerable and elderly but now it is open to everyone. Not everyone can get off work on the day their last name comes up and if we had some flexibility like we had during lockdown we could move this along much faster.

    CNS can you ask Dr. Lee why the HSA making it so difficult for folks to get their shot? Maybe make a suggestion to make it easier like I mentioned with alternating days. It would make it more simple and it would give people the flexibility of having at least 3 days a week that they can go to get their vaccine done rather than this rigid surname day foolishness.

    Sorry for the rant..but sometimes it seems that bureaucracy and power rather than good old common sense has become the order of the day..

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank God for our world class public service.

  13. Anonymous says:

    thank god for the uk.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes! But we should also acknowledge that we got the tests largely ourselves. The parts of that job the UK did, I don’t think we’d have had any challenge paying various global companies to do for us. But the vaccines are another matter. The UK has exceeded my expectations and earned my sincere gratitude for this.

    • Anonymous says:

      More like thank God for the USA and President Trump’s operation Warp Speed to fast track the clinical trials from 4 years down to less than year.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pfizer has distanced itself from Mr. Trump and Operation Warp Speed. In an interview on Sunday, Kathrin Jansen, a senior vice president and the head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, said, “We were never part of the Warp Speed,” adding, “we have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone.”


        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe the media should have asked did your company take the blanket immunity put in place by Trump? Oh, and what about the preorder billions in payments which was not refundable? Did you take any of that? And did you accept all the fast track approval options given to your company? Of course you did.

          The fact you take a Pfizer (aka big Pharma) talking head at face value speaks volumes. These are the same guys who told us opioids weren’t addictive FFS.

      • Anonymous says:

        Trump will go down in history as the greatest deceiver, ever!
        He knew about everything, said he was going to drain the swamp and then surrounded himself with alligators.
        There is salvation only in Jesus Christ. Donald Trump and Joe Biden are on the same side.
        I cannot believe we were fooled, but we were.

        • Nonsense says:

          Are you American? If not, why concern yourself with this at all? Not your dog, not your fight.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yes let’s thank a guy who put money into something which wasn’t Pfizer and then had a cabinet too stupid to figure out how to roll it out

    • Anonymous says:

      What has the UK ever done for us?

      • Anonymous says:

        The aquaducts?

      • Anonymous says:

        Apparently you are too ignorant to appreciate. May I suggest a trip to Jamaica to see what independence for these islands might very well look like if you want it now.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone who got the vaccine today at the airport let us know how long the lines were?

    • Anonymous says:

      I went about 3.30, there were maybe 15 in line, another 5-10 trying to get in line, some without success.

      • Anonymous says:

        I was one of those people..they tell everybody in the morning that it is open to all then you go up there to stand in the heat only to find out they changed the rules again. It may have been five of us standing there without the last name starting with A. Why not just give us the vaccine? We are there in line and it’s the end of the day? Were they expecting a stampede of people to come through at the last minute? What did they do with it after we left? Did the take it back to the HSA and refreeze it?

        You can’t make this shit up! This is going to take us until Christmas to get everyone vaccinated.

        • Anonymous says:

          Or alternatively until the end of next week, anyway, for first shots, and then another 3 weeks for second. So that’s 9 April. Almost the same as Christmas, other than about eight months. There’s no community Covid here, and the border sure as hell isn’t opening before late April at the earliest, so maybe calm down a bit.

          • Anonymous says:

            YOur logic is absolutely dumbfounding..So you are saying since we don’t have community spread right now we can stretch this out as long as we want…Are you serious?

            Just today, we have heard about another breach of quarantine..Many of these are still not even being reported. Do you think Skylar and VJ were the only ones that breached quarantine? It only takes one of the several hundred we currently have in quarantine to breach and walk into Fosters infected with covid and start a superspreader event…then what happens if one of your family members gets covid and dies just because the Government thought it should not expedite the vaccination process..

            Too many people have become complacent particularly if they were one of the fortunate ones to actually get around the system and get the vaccine and they feel like they are no longer vulnerable and that the other unvaccinated people should not worry or be concerned about their health or that of their loved ones. It is a false sense of security and one that whoever this poster is should not take so lightly.

            We are sitting on thousands of vaccines so what’s another month or two, we can wait, there is no community spread. That reasoning and thinking is from someone that couldn’t give two shits about you or anyone else.

            My two cents, let’s get shots in arms as fast and as efficiently as possible. Let’s not rest on our laurels and believe that community spread is not something that can never happen in Cayman.

            • Anonymous says:

              No, I was saying that if everyone turns up, on their surname day, as directed, then the vaccinations would be largely complete in one month’s time. I’m not clear what would be either slow or inefficient about that.

              • Anonymous says:

                so you actually believe that everyone with the last name E – H can show up on the one day allotted and all get vaccinated between 9am -12n and 1:30pm to 5pm? What is your thought process?

                Are you the one making up these rules?

                Common sense doesn’t seem to be common anymore.

        • Anonymous says:

          Rules weren’t changed, you mustn’t have read properly. The alphabet system was said from the announcement that they were opening up Phase 3.

          • Anonymous says:

            Bunch of my colleagues in Stage 3 got vaccinated on Thursday – so yes, maybe the rules didnt change, but the application of them sure as hell did.

          • Anonymous says:

            They only announce the changes on the HSA website on Thursday morning.

            If you were letter A and couldn’t go on Friday or didn’t see the announcement then you are screwed and have to wait for another 3 weeks when A rolls around again.

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