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The VMT decides to put the interval between doses back to three weeks and clarifies changing the vaccination target

The Vaccine Management Team (VMT) has decided on Monday, May 10, to go back to a three-week interval between the doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The initial reason to extend the interval to five weeks was based on the expected third wave of COVID-19 infections. Extending the interval created the extra capacity to give more persons their first dose, offering some protection against a possible new wave.

Now, more than a month later, the numbers, fortunately, haven't peeked and seem to remain stable, so the VMT decided to move back to the original three-week interval, as tested and recommended by Pfizer/BioNTech.

On Monday, May 10, the country reached another milestone of administering the 25.000th dose on Sint Maarten. With the new Vaccination Campaign slogan, ''The drive to 85%, SXM race to

normalcy,'' the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) hopes to boost the vaccination numbers to reach herd immunity.

The goal is adjusted to 44,101 persons, which is 85% of the adult population instead of the earlier figure of 34,000. This adjustment comes from a revised estimation of the total number of undocumented persons living on Sint Maarten.

With over 15.000 persons having received their first dose, the VMT says that the country is currently at 27% of the total eligible population, while we need to reach 85%. With the start of the hurricane season around the corner and a sudden rise in active cases on the French side, it is essential to boost the vaccination numbers. When a big hurricane would strike the country, the capacity won't be there to deal with a possible rise of COVID-19 infections, which is a very dangerous scenario.

The VMT encourages everyone 18 years and older to register for the vaccine or walk-in to the offices of the Collection Prevention Services (CPS), Belair Community Center, or one of the Pop-Up vaccination locations in your neighborhood.

Sint Maarten currently has the best vaccine on the market available to its residents for free. All over the world, hundreds of millions of persons have already taken it. It is scientifically proven to be safe and protects against the COVID-19 virus (including the UK variant, which is now dominant on Sint Maarten and Saint Martin). Only if enough persons get vaccinated one can see the end the pandemic in sight and race back to normalcy!

Protect yourself, your loved ones, and Sint Maarten, and get vaccinated!

Sint Maarten Protected Together.