Councilman Koos Sneek getting vaccinated.
ST. EUSTATIUS--A total of 474 persons had been vaccinated in St. Eustatius up to Wednesday, February 24, an increase of 190 from the day prior.
Amongst the persons vaccinated are Island Council members Reuben Merkman (Progressive Labour Party), Adelka Spanner (Democratic Party) and Koos Sneek (independent).
GTI Statia Terminals Managing Director Terrence Keogh giving a thumbs-up while being vaccinated.
The vaccinations are being administered at Earl N. Merkman Sports Auditorium from 9:00am to 5:00pm today, Thursday, and tomorrow, Friday. There are two days left for persons to either register or walk in to receive the vaccine. They should walk with their identification card.
No adverse reactions have been reported so far by persons who have received the vaccine.
Sneek said that, being 70 years old, he is in the high-risk category. He said he got vaccinated because “although Statia is managing to keep the virus mostly out of the island, we all are feeling the effects of the corona pandemic in our daily lives, especially where it concerns travelling.”
A day shopping in St. Maarten is like a distant memory, Sneek said. Unless travelling in a bubble for special occasions, no one can enter or return to Statia without undergoing a 12-day quarantine. “We are encouraged to sanitise our hands regularly, adhere to social distancing and wear a face mask, and we are constantly worrying that the virus may enter Statia.”
Many countries, including the Netherlands, on which the island is extremely dependent, are experiencing complete lockdowns and most businesses are closed for many weeks already, Sneek said. This situation is not going away until the world will be able to eradicate the virus and for this the larger part of the world community needs to become immune to the virus, he added. “That is why people need to be vaccinated.”
Global Terminal Investments (GTI) Statia Terminals Managing Director Terrence Keogh said he was getting the vaccine because, at age 58 and being hypertensive, he is high-risk. By getting the vaccine, he added, he is protecting himself, his family, colleagues and the community, particularly as he is exposed daily to many persons due to his job.
“I believe in leading by example and the benefits of taking this vaccine, as it will protect me 95 per cent against the COVID-19 virus, instead of not being protected at all when I am not vaccinated,” he said.
Merkman encouraged other Statians to get vaccinated. He said when you are vaccinated it also helps your community. “We cannot stay closed down forever. We will need to open up for the general public and the world. Right now, everything is at a low level and the island needs to get back to where we were and move forward in making Statia what it needs to be for the betterment for all people in Statia. Statia people, get vaccinated: it helps you and it helps the community,” Merkman said.
Another notable person who has been vaccinated thus far is Reverend Vincia Celestine.