On Friday, April 9th, 13 boxes containing 15,210 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the country on a KLM flight from the Netherlands. This amount can vaccinate 7,605 persons.
The Collective Prevention Service (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development (Ministry VSA) and the Vaccination Management Team (VMT) are urging the public to register for a vaccine as soon as possible due to the current unprecedented outbreak that is taking place on the island of Curacao.
Curacao is seeing on average over 100 new positive COVID-19 cases each day. On Sunday, there were 4,768 active cases; 129 persons are hospitalized, 44 of them are in the Intensive Care Unit.
The Curacao community is being impacted by the UK variant of the COVID-19 virus. Viruses mutate all the time, and the UK variant is much more contagious which means more people in the community can be infected with the virus and this can have serious implications for the elderly as well as persons with underlying conditions who have not yet been vaccinated.
The UK variant is already in circulation on the island. The main threat for the country is that more people will become ill and that means more people will end up in the hospital, putting pressure on the country’s public health facilities and more people will die.
An outbreak of the UK variant in the country will also have a negative impact on the national economy which in turn will also impact the workforce where it concerns employment.
Vaccines are a critical tool in the fight against the COVID-19 virus and there are clear public health and lifesaving benefits once you are vaccinated.
The Netherlands decided to combine the third and fourth Pfizer batches which would allow CPS and VMT to scale up the administering of the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the community who have registered due to the serious public health situation on Curacao.
Sint Maarten has already received two other batches of the vaccine since February amounting to 15.210 doses.
Members of the community are reminded to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Registration can be done via the online registration form which is available in English, Spanish, and Creole, and can be found via this link: https://forms.sintmaartengov.org/form.aspx?v=OGtn05kNmb
Both Cole Bay and Dutch Quarter Community Helpdesks are currently equipped to provide information and can assist with registration on the spot. They are open from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Monday to Friday. You must bring a form of identification when you visit the helpdesk.
Lastly, the paper based “COVID Vaccine Registration Form” can be picked up at several locations, including CPS at the Vineyard Office Park Building, the Division of Labor Affairs at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center in Simpson Bay, doctors’ offices, the Government Administration Building, and select pharmacies.
If you have a friend, parent, neighbor, or relative that may need assistance with registration, transportation, or emotional support, please do your part. If you need help with the registration process, your appointment, or wish for more information about the vaccination campaign, you can also call CPS at 914 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizations who wish to inform their staff about the Covid-19 vaccine and vaccination program via an information session can send an email to email@example.com
Sint Maarten, protected together.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Arrival of the 3rd and 4th batches of the COVID-19 vaccine. (DCOMM Photo’s)