The first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in the Cayman Islands Tuesday afternoon, according to Government Information Services. The shipment has been loaded onto a British Airways flight from the United Kingdom, which is expected to land around 2pm on 5 Jan. Governor Martyn Roper, in a post on his official Facebook page Tuesday, welcomed the impending arrival of the vaccines.
“[I] sincerely hope the vaccines will prove a turning point in our fight against COVID. UK has committed to supplying them. This batch alone [is] worth £200,000 (around CI$227,000). I will be having my vaccination later this week and would encourage you all to as well,” Roper posted.
Roper, Premier Alden McLaughlin and Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee are among those expected to be at the airport when the shipment arrives, according to GIS. Lee was a guest on Cayman Crosstalk Tuesday morning, where he talked about rolling out the vaccine in the Cayman Islands. Premier McLaughlin announced Cayman’s national COVID-19 vaccination plan last month in Parliament and noted that its implementation could result in Cayman’s border restrictions easing as early as March.
Reopening, Vaccination Records & More
In his New Year’s Day message, the premier stressed the importance of the vaccine to the reopening of borders, saying having “struggled so hard” to get through the worst of the COVID-19 crisis his administration remains determined to keep Cayman safe.
“Therefore, we will require that arriving travellers have also been vaccinated and received both a negative COVID-19 test before arriving, and a second negative test on arrival, along with any other public health requirements. Travellers not meeting these requirements will have to quarantine,” McLaughlin said.
Pfizer/BioNTech was the first vaccine to receive clearance in the United Kingdom and has since been approved by healthcare regulatory agencies around the world, including the United States and Canada. Last week, the UK approved the Oxford University/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for use. This week it started administering that vaccine, which is more cost effective and easier to store.