Saba closes first vaccination round at total tally of 1,328 | THE DAILY HERALD

The 1,300th person to be vaccinated in Saba.

SABA–The first vaccination round in Saba was closed off on Monday, March 1, with a total tally of 1,328. This figure represents more than 85 per cent of the adult population and more than seventy per cent of the total population.

  In a fully COVID-19-free environment, the vast majority of about 1,500 adults in Saba went to the vaccination location at Eugenius Johnson Center in Windwardside from Monday, February 22, to Monday, March 1. Saba received 1,500 Moderna vaccines, enough to vaccinate the entire adult population, on February 19.

  Saba currently has the highest coverage in the kingdom and internationally it also has done exceptionally well. “We are up there with the highest coverage in the world,” said a proud Dr. Koen Hulshof, who heads the Saba Public Health Department. To compare, in Israel, which serves as a worldwide poster child for a high vaccination rate, 54 per cent of the population has had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

  Several factors contributed to Saba’s success rate, explained vaccination coordinator Tedisha Gordon of the Public Health Department. “The structure and the organisation of the vaccination programme contributed a lot,” said Gordon. “We have a strong, friendly and efficient vaccination team. The process went very smoothly.”

  Saba started early with providing information to its community about the safety of the vaccine and the vaccination process. More than 30 small and larger gatherings were held with face-to-face encounters, including town-hall meetings and visits to schools, churches, organisations and private companies.

  The positive vibe also contributed to so many Sabans deciding to obtain the Moderna vaccine, with many people eager to get back some sense of normalcy. The social media were used extensively, while the free transportation to and from the vaccination location was also a positive factor.

  Saba’s Outbreak Management Team (OMT) informed the Island Council on Tuesday afternoon, March 2, about the results of the first round of the vaccination programme and discussed what the high coverage means for the current measures after May 1, when the island should be partially reopened, depending on the pandemic’s developments.

  Saba will receive the subsequent batch of the Moderna vaccine from the Netherlands in the next few weeks for the second-round vaccination, which will take place late March.

  Looking back at seven days of vaccinating in the first round, Hulshof said, “The team is tired, but satisfied. It was a lot of work and it is great to see it materialised. It was a positive vibe from the start until the end.”

Source: The Daily Herald