Caribbean Cinemas in Cole Bay new COVID-19 Vaccination Pop-Up Location. Belair Community Center temporarily closed | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Vaccination Management Team (VMT) announced on Tuesday, June 15th, that Caribbean Cinemas in Cole Bay will be used as a new vaccination Pop-Up location starting Thursday, June 17th.

This location will be open for vaccination walk-ins from Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The VMT would like to publicly express its gratitude to Caribbean Cinemas for their generous offer to make their facility available to the national vaccination campaign.

This new location has been opened because the Belair Community Center will not be available for COVID-19 vaccinations between Thursday, June 17th and Wednesday, June 30th. The only day that the Belair Community Center will be open for COVID-19 vaccinations in that period will be on Monday, June 21st.

The VMT would like to also publicly thank the Belair Community Center owners and management for their ongoing support and for making the facility available to support the national vaccination campaign. To date, roughly 19.000 vaccinations have been given at the location, and without it, the campaign would not have gotten so far.

Persons who had their first dose at the Belair Community Center are either scheduled on June 21st or asked to come to either the new vaccination Pop-Up location in Cole Bay (Caribbean Cinemas) or at the offices of the Collective Prevention Service (CPS) at the Vineyard Office Complex in Philipsburg, which will remain open as usual from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM from Monday to Friday.

The VMT encourages everyone who has not received their vaccine against the COVID-19 vaccine to make use of the opportunity while it’s still easily accessible and free of charge. You have until July 9th to come for your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine so that you can receive your second dose before the end of the month.

The Pfizer vaccine is the very best on the market, and unlike many other countries worldwide, it is available to the community for free. It is scientifically proven safe and effective against the Alpha variant, which we know is now dominant on Sint Maarten.

The efficacy is also clear as daylight, as countries with higher vaccination levels see their active COVID-19 cases drop steeply. We see the same happening closer to home, where the 70-80 active cases on Sint Maarten are for almost 100% unvaccinated persons. We’ve also counted our 32nd COVID-19 related death this week, of which, regrettably, none were fully vaccinated either.

Vaccination will always be a personal decision as it can never be made mandatory, but every decision has consequences, and by choosing not to vaccinate, you not only endanger your own life but also the lives of others, but with your choice to take the vaccine, you reduce that chance of being infected with COVID-19 by 95%, which means that the chances of infecting others are reduced by 95%.

In the slight case (5%) that you are infected, the vaccine protects you against the virus’s severe and possibly deadly symptoms. Therefore, fully vaccinated persons do not have to quarantine after coming in contact with a person who tested positive.

In contrast, unvaccinated persons must quarantine for at least ten days. The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) Omar Ottley also announced that you’d either have to get tested or be fully vaccinated to participate in all future events. We are likely to see more measures like these in the near future because this is the only way of continuing our way of living safely and responsibly.

The VMT strongly encourages everyone who hasn’t received their vaccination to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The country has the tools at hand to prevent a huge outbreak, as we saw in Curacao. If we continue to wait, we purposely endanger our loved ones, our island, and our economy.

The VMT urges everyone to understand the severity of the situation and not wait any longer. Come for your vaccine and encourage others to do so as well.

Sint Maarten Protected Together.