Final vaccine shipment cut as uptake slows

| 07/04/2021 | 101 Comments
Cayman News Service
Vaccine doses arriving on British Airways (file photo)

(CNS): The last scheduled shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived in the Cayman Islands Wednesday aboard the British Airways flight, ending the country’s free supply from the UK. The country has enough vaccines to inoculate over 45,000 adults (16+) but the shipment was cut after concerns that uptake here has begun to slow, even though the shots were offered to everyone who is resident and over the age of 16. The vaccines have variable shelf lives of between one and three months, so those who have not yet had their first shot are being urged to get it as soon as possible.

After early success with the national vaccine programme, Governor Martyn Roper said he was concerned that vaccine uptake was now slowing and so the final delivery of shots had been reduced. Currently 31,302 people, or 48% of the estimated population of 65,000, have received at least one dose and 34% have completed the two-dose course.

“As the vaccine has a limited shelf life, we asked the UK to send a significantly reduced amount of a further 11,700 doses in the last scheduled delivery that arrived today from the UK,” he said. “Before the arrival of today’s supplies, we already had enough vaccine on Island for 80% of our adult population, approximately 40,000. But as vaccine supply is still challenging, and many countries are desperately seeking supplies, it would be wrong to risk wasting vaccine supply. If uptake increases we can request a further delivery from the UK.”

Roper said that the balance of risk remains heavily weighted in favour of the vaccine, which millions of people have taken safely with little or no side-effects.

“No-one wants to get COVID,” he said. “In the UK, even young people who have had it mildly are at risk of long COVID, suffering symptoms lasting months. New research published today suggests that getting COVID is associated with a greater risk of depression, dementia, psychosis and stroke. The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and especially our more vulnerable elderly population. We can only safely reopen our borders once the vast majority of the adult population is vaccinated and protected from the worst effects of this terrible virus.”

The Public Health Department said that due to the progress of the programme, it will no longer be using the Owen Roberts International Airport as a vaccination centre from the end of April. The requirements have also changed and people attending for vaccination do not need to provide identification regarding their residency rights, though photo ID will still be required. 

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr John Lee said that getting the vaccine will encourage safe travel and easier movement of people, as he thanked those who have helped with the programme so far. “We have been assisted tirelessly by the staff of the Health Services Authority and their Public Health team who have come out as stars in the management of the threat from COVID-19,” he said, thanking them and Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) for allowing them to use the space for the programme

Meanwhile, one more traveller tested positive for the coronavirus in Wednesday’s report and there are now 24 active cases among those in isolation and quarantine of COVID-19, but just two of those individuals are suffering symptoms of the virus.

The latest schedule of operations at the airport will be published by the Health Services Authority imminently and will include extended hours to further facilitate access to vaccinations. It will be available on the HSA website.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (101)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why didn’t CIG do a poll before expecting Cayman’s population to take the vaccine? They can still do one before doses on hand expire. Pity we have many people here that are slow to uptake. SMH why they keep looking a gift horse in the mouth. Very ignorant, inconsiderate and ungrateful.

  2. Anonymous says: now has schedule up for next Monday onwards. No alphabet & slightly longer hours on Mondays & Tuesdays (closed Wednesdays – including the one the week after the public holiday). No alphabets. No restrictions – dose 1 or 2 any time they are open & to anyone over 16 with ID.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not open more than 6.5 hrs a day, only open after working hours 2 days a week, still not open on Sundays. Now open at Camana bay for a one off, but nothing for the Eastern districts. Better than before, but not exactly offering maximum flexibility if they want to make a transformational change in vaccinated numbers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    People are not taking up the vaccine because they are enjoying the tranquility of the islands with no tourists. Be it a doctor, a gardener or an administrator surely the 1,600 unemployed Caymanians can get a job that is currently in the hands of a WP holder?

  4. Anonymous says:

    If that’s the end of the free vaccines, how is Alden going to get all the kids vaccinated so he can open the borders without quarantine??

    • Anonymous says:

      First of all, the Pfizer vaccine has not yet been approved for anyone under 16.

      Second, the excess shipments were halted because we have more than enough vaccine for two doses for every willing adult. The vaccines have remaining shelf lives of 1 to 3 months, so excess vaccine that we dont need will go to waste upon expiration.

      Third, more shipments will come if we need.

      • Anonymous says:

        That wasn’t the question. Alden said the borders might be opened without the need for vaccinated visitors to quarantine once enough Cayman residents were vaccinated, including children (as they can catch and spread the virus). The UK has no plans to vaccinate children unless they have particular health conditions, so why would it send more vaccines for your healthy kids?
        Question is where does this leave the re-opening (lack of plan?)

        • Anonymous says:

          There is clearly no re-opening / border opening plan at this stage .Being vaccinated has almost nil effect on this, as you can still carry the virus when vaccinated. Hence quarantine will still be required ( 8,11,15 days )for the for-seeable future.
          Until a vaccination plan worldwide is adopted for the under 16 age brackets, it will be virtually impossible to travel with said children.
          While these restrictive measures are in place, no major airlines will schedule a return to service , such as it was prior to the pandemic , even in a limited fashion.

          • Anonymous says:

            Major airlines are flying all over, except Cayman, with unvaccinated children.

          • Anonymous says:

            Lack of airline service to Cayman is only because of current restrictions. Once borders are open, airlines will be happy to fly. They’re flying all over now and don’t care about vaccinations.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry Mac and Johann and Kenneth and Alric will be our saviors by then , and I am sure their combined expertise as well as Mac And Kenneth’s integrity will ensure the continuation of free vaccines for us all.
      Yeah right. !
      Be careful what you wish for Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden won’t be around after next Wednesday..

  5. anon says:

    Can Dr Lee comment on whether it is safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers to get the vaccine?.

  6. Anonymous says:

    will ask the obvious question again(if permitted by cns):
    what happens if the vaccine rate stalls at 60%?
    are the majority of people on this island kept hostage due to the nonsensical approach of the minority that obviously will not follow medical advice to protect health?

    • Anonymous says:

      Vaccination levels are stalling in many privileged and “educated” populations because of thriving and absurd misinformation campaigns that continue to propagate. For all reasonable thinking people, there needs to steady streams of clinical affirmations, paired with big carrot incentives, rather than sticks. CDC last week was saying that USA fully-vaccinated, 2 weeks after second dose, have very little chance of catching sufficient virus to spread to others – and, importantly/happily, that included all the new variants of concern. That is a fantastic clinical affirmation. I think we will see those that have been vaccinated, given a much greener light to travel internationally, and cross borders with much-reduced quarantines, or possibly full quarantine waivers, once industrialized nations get past 50% of eligible populations. You’ll then have 50% or more of those domestic populations demanding, “let us go”, especially when buttressed by credible opinions like those coming out from places like the CDC. We must be within a month or two of that now (ex-Canada).

    • Anonymous says:

      Stfu, you complain about everything. You march through George Town begging for rights and equality, but once someone else wants equality and rights with their decisions its wrong and frowned upon? PISS OFF mate!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Bermuda has similar population and similar vaccine rates, but partially open borders. Record cases and they have over 20 people in hospital, some in ICU, and two people died last weekend.

    Our borders will become partially open at some point in the next few months, and those that remain unvaccinated by choice are just asking for trouble. Get your shots, it is easy at the airport!

    From Bermuda’s main newspaper.

    • Vigilante says:

      It is not Bermuda’s partially open border policy that is at fault, it is a section of Bermuda’s population that refuses to abide by the social distancing, mask-wearing, disinfecting guidelines that have kept so many safe from this disease. Unprotected large gatherings, coupled with the new variants, have resulted in sky-high positive counts. Unfortunately, the regulatory consequences are not as strict as here and so the cases will continue…

      • Jotnar says:

        Except what is being contemplated here is a move to a partially (no quarantine, but vaccination and entry test) open border WITHOUT even bothering to have Bermuda’s social distancing, mask wearing etc. What makes you think the outcome will be any better than Bermuda’s experience in the absence of a largely vaccinated domestic population? And you can imagine the uproar if the next government announces the borders are opening but a return to mask wearing in public and restrictions on social gathering.

        • Anonymous says:

          Bermuda has recorded another 2 deaths. It has been added to Ireland’s no fly list.
          We must get the population vaccinated before opening our borders, but let’s fix a date. If you haven’t been vaccinated by say May 31st then be prepared to get the virus.

          You might get no symptoms. You might get hospitalised. You might get long covid. You might die. But if you’ve not had the vaccination & don’t stay sheltered then you run the risks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    go get vaccinated.m..i sicka ground hog day! re-run movie….we need travel with no quarantine….i know i am readyyyyyy!!!!😇

    • Anonymous says:

      Open borders w/ vaccinated people no quarantine and testing. Masks in high traffic areas.

  9. Anonymous says:

    gonna be bad when they open borders and unvaccinated exposed….thank god i got my 2 shots…i dont want ve in some fueld hospital with tubes hanging outta me..wishing..”why didnt i take the vaccine!” in 95 degree weather…having to have a nurse change underwear and wipe down 5 times a day and nit being able to use bathroom??? uuufff…and yes i am a native caymanian…

    • Anonymous says:

      Dramatic much?

      • Anonymous says:

        2.9 million people worldwide might disagree with you – except of course, they are in no position to do so anymore.

        • Anonymous says:

          Many more millions have had it than have died and they’d agree that 8:46 is being overly dramatic.

          • Jotnar says:

            Yeah, they are dead so their opinions don’t matter much, right? What’s the old quote “A Single Death Is a Tragedy; A Million Deaths Is a Statistic”. Nice set of principles you have there, friend.

    • Anonymous says:

      People still can catch Covid or died from it after full vaccinated. Virus will be around for 20+ years.

      • Anonymous says:

        You sound like well researched and good scientist/virologist..tell me more..

        Give me some examples of the people who died from it after being fully vaccinated. The numbers must be massive. We must convince everyone not to take this vaccine.

        Boy, you can hear some people sit down and dream this crap up or do they actually believe it?

        I had a friend in the states that was a pro-Trumper and partied without mask and social distancing and taunted us for taking the vaccine. He was 49, and came down with covid on a Wednesday and had to go on a ventilator. That following Saturday, I got a call from his girlfriend that he has passed away. I felt so guilty that I had not tried harder to get through to him but again some people like to learn the hard way. I lost a good friend due to political conspiracy theories and until this day it still tears me up inside.

    • GT East says:

      The btm line is as a small island we cannot and will not cope with a community spread of this virus our healthcare system just would not cope with any spike out in the community..if you look at the ICU wards all over the world how would we pick and choose who gets the treatment….wake up to the real world and get vaccinated right now are options are not great ….

    • Anonymous says:

      Sometimes you don’t have to write “and yes I am a native Caymanian”. It was already obvious.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too bad many people are not thanking god and can’t help themselves either. Wonder if these same ones want independence too?

  10. Anonymous says:

    It is said God doesn’t help those that don’t help themselves. The window has been open for everyone eligible to allow them to accept or decline this clinical advantage. I get the global moral quandary of politely waiting until those less fortunate get an equal chance, but at this time there is an overriding civic duty to get yours when it’s offered and not be a doofus. Employers should be making reasonable time and providing coverage for their valued workers to go get theirs.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’ll get the vaccine shot when there is no 10 day isolation upon return to Cayman and if they offer a 2nd pension fund withdrawal for getting the vaccine… as Jerry Maguire said “Show Me The Money!!!”

    • Anonymous says:

      They won’t get rid of the quarantine until you get vaccinated, pull your thumb out and go get it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, it was Jerry Maguire’s client who said that and then asked Jerry to repeat it – kind of like a sheep. Keep watching Faux News little sheeple.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually sheeple are Cayman hypocrites that watch CNN while living in the most ultra right wing country on the planet.

    • Anonymous says:

      you are an ass..stay like that until you get a good dose of covid..

    • Anonymous says:

      Rather you show me your IQ, that if it registers.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ll show you my investment account performance over the past 5 years that’s 4 times higher annual return than those grossly underperforming overcharging 1.5% MER pension fund performance.
        I want my motherf$cking pension money in my hands instead of those POS pensions that are blatantly ripping off all pensioners.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was available, more people would be willing to take that and actually pay for it.

    Nothing happens though until the government stops playing games with benchmarks. Set a date or no shot. We’ll see who lasts longer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pop-up mass vaccination clinic in Colorado is shut down after 11 people suffer adverse reactions to Johnson & Johnson shot and two are hospitalized

      • Anonymous says:

        what is your point?…99.996% of people had no reaction.
        afraid to say you are an anti-vaxxer???

    • Anonymous says:

      That vaccine is way inferior to Pfizer! Cayman got the best of the vaccines!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Almost been a month since my second dose.

    I say open the flood gates and let those who think a sky fairy will drop an ark down for them, let them do their thing.

    It’s the 2020s. Age of Science.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully be a supply for college students returning in the summer.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d think it would better that they’re already fully vaccinated BEFORE they come home.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Of course there is no incentive to get the vaccine. Why bother? Borders are closed , cayman is safe. Some people apparently like it like this. Government needs to Give the country a firm date to reopen the borders without any restrictions on vacation travel and that should get people moving. The rule following citizens have had enough of this police state. Open the borders and allow tourists back in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Police state 😂 laughable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes I like it like this, with no covid. Having been locked down in Europe for months while it raged all around us and the constant sound of ambulances, scared to leave the house – yes, I LOVE living on a covid-free island with no anxiety. I am in no hurry to open the island and have tourists back with all of their germs. Despite my wife and I both not working for over a year. We value our health more than anything.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds of ambulances? The same sound we hear while laying on 7mb as it drives back and forth West bay rd?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just playing this real-life drama forward 1 or 2 months, and most of industrialized nations should be close to, or above 50% of their eligible populations vaccinated. Then the popular tide shifts in voting nations, and you’re either vaccinated or not. COVID travel and border controls will remain for those that either haven’t been vaccinated, or have young kids in tow, elderly, or allergic that will necessitate the 14 day quarantine periods. Despite what the USA is saying now, there will most definitely be a future with two-tiered digital ID vaccination passports. Which tier do we want to invite here? …and there’s the incentive.

      • Anonymous says:

        A lot of countries have you show proof of certain vaccines already so I welcome a digital record for travel. Make my life easier by not having to find which clinic I got what vaccine.

  16. Anonymous says:

    No more letter says, just allow anyone to get it any time.

    Also, tell everyone we are opening the borders regardless if they get the vaccine or not. Everyone was offered the vaccine for free, too bad if they didn’t want it.

    Not my circus, not my monkeys.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too bad for them, to be sure. But too bad for you too, when you are unable to get treatment at the hospital because it is packed with Covid sufferers, or limited to shopping 3 days a week and not allowed to use bars or restaurants, because there is an island wide lockdown because infection rates are going through the roof. Even if you don’t own the circus, I am afraid you are in the tent and have to deal with the monkeys.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Everyone’s choice of course, but I really find it amazing how many apparently sensible adults here have convinced themselves not to get the vaccine. A lot of the black community seem influenced by so much social media nonsense from the US etc.
    What’s equally amazing is how many of these people who won’t get vaccinated are complaining about the borders not opening- that won’t happen until they and the vast majority of the adult population get the jab .

    • Anonymous says:

      Way to make it racial…”the black community” the vast majority in Cayman are considered part of that community.

    • Anonymous says:

      Black community? Who are you? You don’t belong in the Caribbean with that attitude! Too many people of all nations are addicted to social media and the lies spread by it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    So where do we go to get shots after April?

    Just open the damn thing up and let people go and get their shot. Stop with all the restrictions.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are no restrictions, did you even bother to read the article?

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe he made the mistake of reading the HSA’s web page, which clearly stats that the restrictions are still in place.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the Governor or Dr. Lee reads these comments on CNS, if not CNS can you send them a copy.

    They are wondering why the process is going so slow and no matter what the people say would make it easier for more of them to get the vaccine, they do absolutely nothing to change the process.

    Here are my suggestions to increase uptake.

    1. No more letter days (get your shot any day)
    2. No more second dose days (get your shot any day)
    3. No more last name letter days (get your shot any day)
    4. No more closing at peak lunch hour time,this is idiotic
    5. Do vaccinations in districts, one district per day
    6. Do not force people to do last names on district days.

    Stop the power handling at the airport. If someone shows up and you have the shots readily available, give them the shot. The idea here is to get shots in arms not strong arming people to go away and wait another week or certain day..It is just too restrictive and somebody needs to step up and make some change. I saw a guy on facebook the other day saying he took his elderly mother and got turned away because it wasn’t her letter day..How stupid is that? It would be different if there was a shortage of the vaccine but sounds like we are swimming in them.

    It should never have taken this long to get more of us vaccinated. There are ten lines at the airport and each nurse is doing 2 at a time. I think the most we ever did in one day was 400. With that amount of resources, we should have been doing a 1000 or more per day.

    400 hundred a day divided by 10 nurses is 40 persons per day.

    40 persons per day divided by 8 hours per day is 5 people per nurse per hour.

    It has been 13 weeks since the first shipment. If we were averaging 1000 shots per day for 5 days a week that would be 5000 a week times 13 weeks which works out to the magic number of $65,000.

    Does anybody see how crazy this is and why we are not able to get more shots in arms??

    We have 65,000 people and we have still yet to get to 50%. Stop blaming it on the people, we are trying but just like everything government does, the bureaucracy and stupidity always makes the process ineffective and inefficient.

    • Anonymous says:

      First name dot surname at CIG dot Ky

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah… at least half the people in my office refuse to get the vaccination because (fill in the black – Bill Gates’ microchips are in it, it will kill you in 6 months, it will make you a controlled robot, COVID is a hoax, COVID is just the flu and I don’t get the flu, etc). In other words, half the people in my office are uneducated conspiracy theorists. No matter how many vaccinations are made available and personnel deployed to do the injections, we aren’t going to reach the levels of vaccination the government says it needs to open the borders. The know this, which is why the government is now throwing vaccination parties for young people to try to get them vaccinated. Of course, the problem is even worse in the U.S., our main tourism market, and worse yet in our two major markets, Florida and Texas. I’m finally at the point that when people stop getting the vaccination, open it up and it’s then survival of the fittest (which in this case means those with brains enough to get vaccinated).

      • Anonymous says:

        The problem is that 99% of these people will get covid and will be fine. The problem is the 1% that will need to be hospitalized. When 5,000 people get it it means 100 people in the hospital using up resources and beds that the rest of us might need if we get in an accident or get it ill. This is what most people can’t understand. They are too limited to think beyond themselves ans their immediate surroundings.

    • Anonymous says:

      All of these are great ideas that should have been implemented a long time ago!
      A friend who works late every day and cannot go during her lunch break went to the airport on saturday of the easter weekend, the one day she was able to after weeks of being unable to …. Guess what, it was closed.

      • Anonymous says:

        To be fair, she would have been able to find out in advance that it wasnt open if she just bothered to look up the schedule.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I think because of our border closures and curfews being so effective we only had two deaths.

    If we had deaths at a rate like in Mexico, USA or Jamaica, people would be much more keen on getting their jabs. Unfortunately, we’ve got a fair few people who think this bubble is forever.

    COVID will make its way here into the community for certain. Fair enough, if you don’t want the vaccine, don’t get it, but be prepared to suffer the consequences.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Most people that live and work in the outer districts can’t get it because of all of the restrictions and because they no longer bring it to the districts so that we can get it on their lunch hour like they did before with the older people.

    There are no after hour times and they close for the prime lunch hours every day and even earlier on Saturday.

    Why not try bringing it back to the districts and/or twice a week staying later like until 8pm so that people that work until 5pm can get their shot.

    We could have had a lot more done a long time ago but the hours and the one location makes it very difficult.

  22. Anonymous says:

    One of the reason for the slow uptake is the ridiculous letter day and second does crap.

    We have enough vaccines why not let us come on any day? I have missed my last name twice now because it is on a Saturday when I have to work. I can get off for lunch but they close for an hour and a half for lunch then close at 3pm and I don’t get off work until 5pm. Who sets the schedule, civil servants??

    Open the damn thing up to everyone. This whole week no one can go except those that are getting the second dose? Why?

    It is not that people don’t want to get the vaccine, it’s just that whoever is doing the schedule is causing it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The reason for the slow uptake is that only 2nd doses are permitted this week.
    Government needs to implement some sort of reward for taking the vaccine. Travel without quarantine or some carrot.
    Or use a stick approach, we are opening the borders so get the vaccine while you can, but otherwise your life will be in danger on July 1.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not having to quarantine is the only logical thing when people are FULLY vaccinated! If quarantine is still required it makes no sense to get it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you 100% if I get fully vaccinated and take a negative test before leaving USA and arrive here negative. Why!!!! Is quarantine required?? Biggest stupidity I’ve heard in my life.

        • Anonymous says:

          Because you can still catch and transmit the disease when vaccinated. The vaccine helps reduce the chance of your becoming seriously ill, but will have no effect in helping protect another Cayman resident who hasn’t had it. Which I suppose you would say is their problem, except if there are enough of them it then becomes your problem too as we have a major outbreak here with all the consequences on overloading our medical system and triggering a lockdown.

          • Anonymous says:

            False! The original intent of the vaccines was to prevent moderate/severe symptoms BUT since then, Pfizer vaccine HAS been found to be quite effective, in trials, at preventing transmission.

            “The vaccines were 90 percent effective at blocking infections — symptomatic and asymptomatic — in people who had two doses of the vaccine, and 80 percent effective in people who had one dose.

            That means there was a 90 percent decrease in infections in people who were fully vaccinated compared with a similar unvaccinated group of people.

            Studies like this show that the mRNA vaccines greatly reduce infections, but these are just two of the vaccines available.”


            • Anonymous says:

              So explain to me how, if you still have a 10-20% chance of getting infected even after vaccination – the statement “Because you can still catch and transmit the disease when vaccinated” is “False!”

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes! Especially now that it’s been shown the Pfizer vaccine prevents infection in addition to the previously known prevention of moderate/severe symptoms.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because democracies cater to those who prefer nonsense to science (e.g., anti-vaxxers, religious/superstitious people, et al.). It is a right to reject evidence and ethics and burden the rest of us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your life is in danger lol.

      More likely to be murdered

    • Anonymous says:

      Plus they were closed over the long weekend…SMH…

  24. Anonymous says:

    Just get the Vaccine, Cayman, get it , we are lucky to have the opportunity to get it, so get it as quickly as you can

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