Vaccine clinic reopens facing revised targets

| 17/06/2021 | 83 Comments
Cayman News Service
Airport Vaccine Clinic (file photo)

(CNS): Now that government has revealed that the previous population estimate was off by more than 6,000 people, the vaccine clinics, which reopened this morning offering second doses only, face the daunting task of getting shots in at least another 10,000 arms over the next few weeks. At a press briefing on Wednesday, the PACT Government explained why they felt it was important to get a more accurate population assessment and how many people must be vaccinated to reach the minimum 70% rate, or ideally 80%, before Cayman’s borders are fully opened.

Finance Minister Chris Saunders, who is now responsible for the Economics and Statistics Office, asked the team to review the figure, given the level of traffic, retail activity, housing pressures and a sense across the island that the population was much greater than 65,000. Answering a question from CNS about why the numbers had been so off before, he said the previous calculations were based on the labour surveys, which had probably missed many of the long-term residents not in the work force but who have been here all the way through COVID.

Saunders explained that a recalculation had been done based on the national population in 2010, with the births and deaths since then added or removed and each year’s actual arrival and departure figures for all residents in the ensuing decade to get a more accurate number. He said this was important because of the “life or death decision” government is making about where the real point of herd immunity will be and how that translates to the number of people Cayman needs to vaccinate to keep everyone else who cannot or will not be vaccinated safe.

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee said the recalculation could be seen as “disappointing” for the current vaccination figures because it means there is more work to do. However, the national vaccination programme has done very well and the revised level shows that 66% of the population have had their first dose, which is still a significant rate, he said.

Public Health has now adjusted the rates among specific demographics and already 8.5% of 12 to 16-year-olds have had their first dose. While more than 80% of the over 50s have been vaccinated, almost three-quarters of those aged between 30 and 40 have now received at least one dose and 66% of people aged between 16 and 30 have also got their first shot.

Dr Lee also noted that it has been 340 days since Cayman recorded a potential case of community transmission of the coronavirus, which demonstrates why the government here has been especially cautious about keeping the virus at bay. The country remains one of only a handful of jurisdictions around the world that has been able to protect its population.

Only one resident and one visitor who were positive for COVID-19 died, while the virus has killed millions of people around the world. Cayman has recorded 599 cases, the vast majority of which have been in travellers who were allowed to return following the lockdown in March last year.

But the focus now is on the vaccine as a means of ensuring that the number of cases stays low and the community remains protected. Premier Wayne Panton said Wednesday that “the challenge isn’t over”, and that with 39,090 residents now fully vaccinated, around 55% of the population, now estimated to be 71,000, the new minimum vaccination goal for herd immunity is 49,770 (70%) but in an ideal world 56,880 people (80%) would be fully vaccinated.

“The latest medical advice suggests that a target ratio as high as 80% of the population may be necessary to achieve herd immunity,” he said, noting that another 10,000-17,000 people now need the full vaccine course to ensure that the whole community is safe.

There are expectations that on Monday, when the clinic starts giving first doses again, there will likely be a spike in uptake, given that the shots are now available to teenagers.

Panton said it was likely that the government will introduce a mandatory requirement for people seeking work permit approvals and renewals to get the vaccine, which will help get Cayman close to the 80% as quickly as possible. He also said that a specific determination on the target vaccination number needed prior to reopening the borders would be confirmed shortly.


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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (83)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nearly 4,000 UK women report menstrual problems including heavy bleeding and delayed periods after getting their Covid vaccine – but watchdog insists there’s no proof jabs are to blame.

    CNS: Read the whole article here.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Give sensible size Vaccine cards and more people will consider getting the shots.

  3. Sorry i'm skeptical says:

    I can’t willingly take the vaccine for a new virus that it’s origins are unexplained, only information is the place of emergence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Need to give Vaccine cards the size if business cards. Those big bulky Vaccine cards are ridiculous hard to carry around, also if they get wet the ink is going to blot and possible cant read it.some one must have common sense. To have the forms on computer and then just need to fill in names and dates, print and stamp them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Judge blocks CDC restrictions on cruise ships.”

    “With the advent of highly effective vaccines, with more than half of adults fully vaccinated, with infection plummeting, with death from COVID-19 asymptotically approaching zero; with the benefit of effective therapeutics for COVID-19; with masks, safe distancing, and sanitation; and with the successful and safe re-opening of business, including airlines, sporting events, and other high capacity venues, COVID-19 no longer threatens the public’s health to the same extent presented at the start of the pandemic or when CDC issued the conditional sailing order,” the Tampa-based judge wrote.
    https://www.winknews.com/2021/06/18/judge-blocks-cdc-restrictions-on-cruise-ships/

  5. Anonymous says:

    BBC recent announcement:
    “A decision to vaccinate all 12 to 17-year-old children against Covid is unlikely to be recommended by UK vaccine experts imminently.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57496074

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cayman’s Covid M.O.
    – set target
    – meet target
    – change target
    – repeat, repeat, repeat!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Come on CI government, allow Cayman Airways to add some more flights to the fully booked July schedule, including at least once a week to JFK NYC. You are unnecessarily making resident’s travel plans so difficult this summer.

    And while you are at it, permit more BA flights to the already fully sold out July to September flights.

    So furious.

    • Anonymous says:

      umm, the point is NOT for you to holiday…

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok clever clogs, so how do people with urgent travel reasons such as medical treatment get off island then? How do kids get back to university? Just because you dnt think there is a world beyond our shores doesn’t meant that others don’t need to travel.

    • Anonymous says:

      did you not hear kenneth say on the press briefing that they do not want caymanians to go away on vacation?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should they add more flights? Is there that much “essential travel” or just so many summer holiday planned?
      Seriously, borders should be opened and all vaccinated people should be able to travel to and from whether tourist or local.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. People need to travel for sick relatives and funerals. And yes people are probably using the flights for vacations. But when someone gets sick and you need to get home or you need to leave island for medical treatment yourself this isn’t often something you can plan a month in advance. If the government is going to limit flights like this they should limit the passengers to people with legitimate reasons to go. Otherwise they should open up more flights.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since vacations are not essential we should get rid of them altogether.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Countries with lower Vax rates have successfully reopened. Let’s learn from them and open!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think their estimate is on the low side even with all that left. There seemed to be WAY more than 65k here pre-covid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the numbers seemed higher because there were quite a few tourists on island pre-covid.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that’s part of the problem, that we are still relying on estimations, and guessing, especially in a place that has very high seasonal variations in number of people here at any one time.

      • Not afraid of my shadow says:

        Isn’t it interesting to live in a place that to move the proverbial goal posts yet once again government just has to stick their arm up their Rectum and pull out whatever number they desire.
        Grow some balls and make a decision if you don’t want tourists say so. If you in your illogical reasoning you think the virus with .9995 recovery rate will be gone on December 31 2022 announce that cayman is closed to the world until 2023.
        If your pain doctor that has become a virus expert/media star can explain 5 day quarantine to the world maybe he should book another media event. We are becoming the laughing stock of the Caribbean. My god where has basic common sense gone.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman had 75,000 plus people now and the Brac about 4,000

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve been thinking about this, if you assume most people get roughly a month off vacation each year, and in normal times would be off island, then you can assume that we would have about 10% of the population off island at any point…now that we are stuck here we see it as more people, rather than just the actual population. There would be more variation at the weekends (in Miami or Tampa shopping), kids on extended breaks over summer, non working people maybe off island as well…I can imagine at some points we are probably down 10,000 people, now that everyone is here all the time it just feels like there are more!

  10. Jim says:

    children under 18 should be considered vaccinated. Of the 3.5 million under 18 in the US that have contracted Covid just 332 have died. That is 0.009%. The flu killed 477 children under 18 in the US in 2018. If under 18 accounts for 14% of the population in Cayman then we are already at that magic number of 80%.

    • Anonymous says:

      You fail to realize that facts and figures don’t count these days.

    • Anonymous says:

      Im not one to defend no plan Panton but I think the concern has more to do with under 16s being more likely to spread covid if they are unvaccinated. So they want to be able to vaccinate as much of that group as possible. And also why children and their parents will still have to do the full quarantine.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thought the whole point of vaccinations were for immunity. Sounds like they don’t think it works?

        • Anonymous says:

          The point is that the vaccine works best when everyone is vaccinated. But there are many people refusing and young children of course can’t get vaccinated. All of those unvaccinated people are the ones most likely to catch and spread covid. If every single adult was vaccinated, then there wouldn’t be such concern about opening the borders. Sadly that isn’t the case.

          • I would love how do you know this ? When no one else does!!

            Vaccinated people can still catch and spread the virus.

            Why do you still not know this, after all what has been said.

            • Anonymous says:

              Do you understand what “most likely” means? Unvaccinated people have a far greater chance of catching and spreading covid because even if a vaccinated person does catch covid, they have a lower viral load anyway making it unlikely to spread. It is even less likely to spread if the people they’re in contact with are also vaccinated. It’s ridiculous that people keep using this as an excuse to not get vaccinated or not open the border.

              • Anonymous says:

                Lol…vaccinated people have a lower viral load so less likely to spread. But before the vaccine came out, asymptomatic cases with NO viral load were silent killers. Listen to your baseless scientific garbage. WOW

          • STX says:

            The vaccine works best for the person who wants it. If by some miracle everyone in the CI got the vaccine there would be another excuse not to open. It will be the under 12 crowd and after that cats, dogs, and iguanas.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hopefully you’ll understand that if people don’t get vaccinated and Covid continues to spread, even if only with mild systems, potential deadlier variants will emerge, and wouldn’t it be a shame if one of those variants are deadlier especially to children?

          • Anonymous says:

            I wonder how you think variants emerge. Viruses want to live do they will mutate when they face resistance. Now who do you think creates more resistance? A vaccinated person or non vaccinated?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone remember the 5000 people who left when he pension rules changed? How about the articles that showed 6000 people left because of Covid (granted, some returned from overseas). Given this, the population grew from 65,000 to 71,000? Looks like Saunders should not be bogarting that any more.

    • Anonymous says:

      Almost everyone one of those that took the pension payout are back..They only had to stay away for a couple of years..many were in the hospitality business.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Counting duppies now.

  13. Anonymous says:

    2nd pension fund withdrawal as an incentive to get the unvaccinated vaccine is the only solution!
    I haven’t been this upset since getting ripped off on a car repair at GT Automotive. Border needs to be reopened!

    • Anonymous says:

      Too funny. The ones that need the funds already drained their accounts and that includes elderly people. People should have saved the funds especially not knowing when all of this was going to end if they could. The ones I feel sorry for are those who rely on tourism.

  14. Anonymous says:

    They are going to look very stupid if the census does not support their estimate.

  15. Anonymous says:

    According to ESO’s 2019 population stats 15% of the population is under 15. Assuming an even distribution, that’s another 3% of the population (or 2,100) available for vaccination – available that is, not guaranteed to get it. Way, way short of the extra 10000-17000 they want. 70-80% of the total population translates to 80-91% of the population above 12. CIG have set themselves a nearly impossible bar unless they start bringing in coercive measures – bribes and appeals to social conscience can only go so far. CIG needs to get tough, lower the bar or accept that we are simply not opening.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t confuse them with logic, or we will get targets of 110%! Of course it’s an impossible target, that’s the point. When they run out of money and can’t borrow anymore, or start cutting Government salaries then you might get some support to open, but I doubt anyone financially unaffected want to open up. So, give the voters a choice, stay shut and a 10% pay cut for civil servants, or open up and keep your cash, the 10% is way better than most in the dive industry have seen as a pay cut!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup…waiting for us to get to 80% just to hear the goal post moved to 90%….

  16. Anonymous says:

    In addition to work permit holders being made mandatory , the same policy needs to be extended to Immigration and C.B.P
    Are they not front line/ very first contacts to anyone travelling?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, but apparently frontline workers do not need to be according to this statement?

      “We also plan to require mandatory weekly PCR testing of unvaccinated frontline workers,” Panton said. “Those workers will be defined by the medical officer of health, and include all those who work directly with travellers.”

      • Anonymous says:

        Having had the PCR test numerous times, I suspect after a couple of weeks of having someone scrape the back or nasal passages with a q tip you would volunteer for the jab – probably what they are counting on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Apparently frontline workers are not actually required to be vaccinated! Article in Compass today quotes the below:

      “We also plan to require mandatory weekly PCR testing of unvaccinated frontline workers,” Panton said. “Those workers will be defined by the medical officer of health, and include all those who work directly with travellers.”

  17. Joe B says:

    Now you will need to force people to take the vaccine against their wishes or leave. Great way to clean the island of anyone smarter than you! Question, What happens to a virus or parasite when there is no more host? Ask John John.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, if you can’t follow the rules then you have to go..This is not about human rights, it’s about public health and protecting those who are unable to take the vaccine due to medical reasons.

      People making the decision based on some stupid YouTube video or Facebook post or following some Trump or Qanon conspiracy theory need to understand that this is slowing us down from being able to reopen and if they are here on a work permit then they have a choice to either take the vaccine or move on someplace else as our little country needs to get to a safe point to re-open.

      • Outraged says:

        It is ALWAYS about human rights!

      • Anonymous says:

        If people would just accept RESPONSIBILTY for their own actions and choices in life, we wouldn’t have so many crying VICTIM.
        Life always gives you choices, you may not like the consequences of those choices, but it is still YOUR choice so get over it, it’s in your hands.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I bet if PACT looked at their records they would probably find that most WP holders have already been vaccinated, this isn’t the area of concern in relation to lack of vaccine uptake, it is the local tin hat, god told me not to, my **** might fall off, Bill Gates will control me brigade and they will NEVER be convinced.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is probably true when it comes to WP holders in some professions but there are groups of WP holders doing more manual jobs that are refusing to get vaccinated. Hopefully their employers are giving them the heads up on what might happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think some neighbouring expat workers are many of those that refuse.
      Caribbean people seem not to like being vaccinated even if born in a first world country.

      • Anonymous says:

        True..I work on a construction site with mostly Jamaicans and not one of them has been vaccinated or want to. Always talking crap about what the vaccine is going to do to them because they are black people. nothing but rubbish and that’s why Jamaica is still in the condition it currently is.

        • Anonymous says:

          The condition of Jamaica is none of your business. Think about your own country.

          • Anonymous says:

            If it’s such a wonderful place, I’d be happy to drive you to the airport

          • Anonymous says:

            My country is exactly what I am thinking of..Why do you think they are here. If they were back in Jamaica many of them would have covid now..

            Foolishness about we trying to inject them with something because they are black people. I’m black too and I’m vaccinated. What about all the white people that are getting vaccinated? Are they giving them a special vaccine? Damn rubbish!

            • Anonymous says:

              Just because they are in Jamaica does not mean they would have covid by now. If they wore a mask, social distanced and washed their hands chances are very good they would not get covid. It’s very simple to avoid getting covid by practicing those simple protocols.

          • Anonymous says:

            4:59 pm, you are very foolish. The way Jamaica is effects Cayman and other countries big time. Just use your common sense, if you have any.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, I have friends in other Caribbean islands and it’s the same, although some of them are not as fortunate as us to have the Phizer vax.

  19. Anonymous says:

    cig had their chance and messed up as usual.
    what is the incentive to get vaccinated? cig has no re-opening plan.
    why will people ever want to take future booster shots or other covid vaccines after the broken promises told by cig.
    cig has no plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      The incentive should be to have protection against a novel virus that is causing world wide sickness and death. That alone should be enough incentive to get 2 shots that are no big deal. Literally an hour or two of your time total and some minor side effects in 99.999% of people who take it. No reason at this point to not take it as the science behind the vaccine from experimental and real world trials show overwhelming evidence of its effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 and safety of taking the vaccine. Listen to science and no Karen from Facebook. Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Incentive needs to be another pension fund withdrawal or gov stimulus cheques

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize the vaccine booster will be for your own good and that of your family and friends and not just for the benefit of the Government.

      FFS if all of us had done the right thing and got our vaccinations done a long time ago, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

      • Anonymous says:

        So true..so many of these stupid anti-vaxxers think by getting the vaccine they are doing something for the Government and not themselves and their loved ones. The Government is not trying to kill you, they are trying to help you.

        The mentality that someone has to be induced by incentives to take something that could literally save their lives is just mind-boggling.

        No one should be doing this for money. The Government is providing the vaccines for free and they are plentiful unlike many places in the world where people are literally begging and standing in lines to get them hoping they don’t catch the virus and at the same time have to watch their loved ones die that couldn’t get the vaccine and were infected.

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