Vaccination success is crucial to reopening borders safely
Chamber President Woody Foster is urging members and their employees to be vaccinated to protect them from the COVID-19 virus as soon as possible.
“Government, the Health Services Authority (HSA) and the Governor’s office should be commended for obtaining the Pfizer vaccine and administering it so quickly,” said Foster. “Being the first Overseas Territory to receive and administer the vaccine is an amazing accomplishment. It is encouraging that more than 1,000 persons have been vaccinated by the Public Health last week.”
The Chamber Council is prepared to be vaccinated as soon the vaccine becomes available. He urged member businesses that interact with the public to do likewise.
“Vaccination is one of the main ways to protect our residents and businesses to reduce the possibility of community spread once our borders are reopened,” he said. “The Chamber supports Government’s cautious approach to date, but it is now time to implement a plan and firm up a timeline to reopen to stayover visitors since many member businesses associated with the tourism sector are struggling to survive.”
“Vaccination is not mandated and is being administered voluntarily. We have been informed that unless a significant number of the local population receives the vaccine, it will be difficult to reopen our borders safely. The Chamber urges all residents who have no underlying medical conditions to take the vaccine so we can get our economy back on track,” he added.
A recent Chamber survey showed that 69% of respondents supported reopening the borders to overnight visitors under strict protocols including testing and quarantine and administering a vaccine when it was approved by Public Health agencies for distribution.
The vaccine is being administered at the Flu Clinic to the priority group for persons over 70 years of age and healthcare providers from both the public and private sectors. The vaccine will be available for this group this week (11-15th January) at each of the district health centres as well as at the Flu Clinic. The vaccine will be administered in the Brac from 9th January and in Little Cayman on 13th January.
Residential homes and other institutions have already been contacted and the vaccination schedule sent to them. Public health nurses will also visit Health City and Doctors Hospital to vaccinate staff and clients as necessary. Larger health care facilities will also be visited, and they are welcomed to visit the HSA to receive the vaccine.
Members are urged to review the public health schedule to know when the vaccine will be available for the general public once the high-risk groups are vaccinated.