ST. EUSTATIUS–Administration of the second dose of the Moderna vaccine kicked off in St. Eustatius on Monday, March 22. Healthcare officials were on hand as the doses were administered.
Persons who received the first vaccination February 22-26 are being asked to come to Earl N. Merkman Sports Hall to receive their second dose of the vaccine.
The first person to receive her second dose was Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis, followed Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij and his wife Courtney.
St. Eustatius Social Domain Director Carol Jack-Roosberg, chief executive officer of utility company STUCO and manager of GTI Statia Terminal Terrence “Terry” Keogh were also among the first to receive their second shot of the vaccine, as well as Alvin Courtar, the first senior citizen to receive a jab.
Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis receiving her second dose.
The second dose of the vaccine minimises by 95 per cent the chance for someone to become infected by COVID-19.
Some 140 persons received their second shot. Nine persons did not show up for their appointment.
Van Rij said that 250 vaccines are available for persons who have not yet received the first dose of the vaccine. Persons who want to be vaccinated can contact the Public Health Department by calling tel. 318-2981 to register and pick up a health declaration form.
The planned arrival of an additional 1,200 Moderna vaccines for 600 persons was delayed due a fallout with a transformer. Work to rectify this situation is being carried out. The vaccines sent by the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport were scheduled to arrive on Friday, March 19.
Prior to the second vaccination programme, 765 persons – or 30 per cent of Statia’s population – had received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. Statia has a population of 2,500 adults.
After receiving her second dose, Francis said she was “happy” to be “finally” fully vaccinated. “I feel so much more relieved knowing that I have taken the responsibility to protect myself and my community. Daily, I am in contact with many people. I do not want to become infected, neither do I want to infect anyone.”
Francis said she will not take anything for granted now that she is fully vaccinated. “Should I decide to travel to a place where there is COVID-19, I will act responsibly by social distancing, wearing a mask and washing my hands often and thoroughly.” She thanked the vaccination team for working to ensure this programme goes well.
The public entity St. Eustatius recently announced it will be easing measures with regard to vaccinated persons in Statia as of April 11. From that date vaccinated persons who travelled abroad do not have to go into quarantine on their return to Statia, as long as they adhere to specific guidelines.
Crisis manager Peter Glerum said the government expects that vaccinated persons want to travel, especially to St. Maarten. The government plans to further open up the island at a later stage.
“We strive to open soon for vaccinated tourists – hopefully somewhere in May – and discuss a roadmap for that with the Island Council,” Glerum said.
Bron: Daily Herald