Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij (left) being vaccinated at Earl N. Merkman Sports Auditorium on Monday, February 22.ST. EUSTATIUS–COVID-19 vaccinations will take place at the Hospitainer starting this week. Persons must register in advance to receive the vaccine. The vaccines will only be given on certain days which will be announced at a later date.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme in St. Eustatius kicked off Monday, February 22, with 800 slots available in this first batch. At the last count 730 persons had registered to take the vaccine and 681 had received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. Administering the second dose of the vaccine is scheduled to start March 22.
Government Commissioner Marnix van Rij, who was the third person to receive the vaccine in Statia, explained that many countries still require that persons who have been vaccinated provide negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests when travelling.
On the advice of the Public Health Department, it is the intention of the public entity St. Eustatius to allow travellers who can prove that they have been vaccinated twice to return to Statia without having to go into quarantine, but they will have to undergo a rapid antigen test at the airport.
“Of course we want to ease the rules, but it has to be in a responsible way. The more people are vaccinated in Statia, the easier it is for the government to take the decision to ease quarantine rules.” The final decision on this new policy has not been made as yet, Van Rij said.
He said that “fake news” and misinformation have been spreading around the island. He said it is “normal” that people have questions about the vaccine and encouraged them to seek advice from their doctor or family members and friends who are knowledgeable about the vaccine.
Persons who plan to live in Statia for a year or longer can also register for the vaccine. This is being done to prevent the situation in which persons who are living here temporarily will be excluded from being vaccinated.
Statia has a population of 2,500 persons who are 18 years or older – 2,150 persons who are registered at the Civil Registry (“Census Office”) and 350 persons with temporary residency permits.
The island government is focussing on having 800 persons vaccinated. When this number is reached, the public entity plans to immediately submit a request to the kingdom government for a second batch of the vaccine. The only drawback to this is that it is not yet sure when the second batch of vaccines will be sent.
When the second batch arrives, the public entity will strive to increase the number of vaccinated persons to 1,600. Van Rij encouraged persons not to hesitate to register so they can be assured that they will be vaccinated as soon as possible, as the number of still available slots is very limited.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/vaccinations-to-take-place-at-hospitainer