(CMR) As the Cayman Islands prepare to receive the third batch of COVID-19 vaccine from the UK next week, Premier Alden McLaughlin has warned that vaccines are limited to legal residents.
“To ensure that we protect those who reside in our islands first, I wish to reiterate that the COVID-19 vaccines are limited to those who are legally and ordinarily resident in these islands,” the premier said during a press conference on Thursday.
McLaughlin's statement comes after CMR highlighted the issue of ineligible persons accessing the Pfizer vaccine a few weeks ago.
There were reports of students and even visitors to the islands being vaccinated.
Governor Martyn Roper said the third consignment of vaccines to the Cayman Islands is scheduled to arrive on the next British Airways flight on February 11.
“This time, we have been able to secure slightly more doses than the first and second consignment, so the next consignment will consist of around 15,000 doses,” he said
The Governor said that although each vial usually has five doses, six and seven doses can sometimes come from a vial. This has resulted in slightly more vaccines available from past shipments.
He said 23,000 doses were received in the first two vaccine shipments. The next shipment is expected to bring the number of doses received to 38,000.
This will enable the country to vaccinate almost 20,000 people, which is 40 percent of the adult population.
Roper said his office was also trying to secure additional supply on two BA flights later this month and March.
He said while the country will continue to receive Pfizer vaccines in the next two to three shipments, the country will eventually be sent the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Meantime, the Governor continues to encourage persons to get vaccinated.
“It is worth noting that vaccines have been rolled out to millions of people across the world with no serious side effects or complications, and here in the Cayman Islands, that has also been the case,” he said.
He pointed out that over 100 million doses have been rolled out globally, with the UK having 10.5 million doses and the US over 30 million.
Roper said the vaccines had been proven to be safe and effective.