Minister of VSA Richard Panneflek.
PHILIPSBURG--Freezers intended to store the coronavirus COVID-19 Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have arrived on St. Maarten in preparation of the vaccination programme scheduled to roll out mid-February.
Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Richard Panneflek said the freezers arrived on the island earlier this week.
This was announced during the virtual live Council of Minister press briefing on Wednesday, January 20. No specifications about the freezers or their location were provided by the minister.
During his opening statements, Panneflek also shared that representatives from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport VWS in the Netherlands are currently on the island this week, meeting with representatives from the Ministry of VSA to review St. Maarten’s COVID-19 vaccination plans. Preparation for the plans have been ongoing for the past month, according to Panneflek.
He assured that the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) and the department of Public Health have had in-depth feedback on the vaccination plans. Areas for improvement were highlighted during these meetings.
He said in the coming weeks both departments will finalise the plans to ensure that St. Maarten is ready to receive the vaccines mid-February.
A training session was held with various healthcare stakeholders and members of the Emergency Support Function six (ESF-6) in preparation for the arrival of the vaccines.
Panneflek said he will be sitting in a meeting with the head of the delegation on Wednesday to discuss the visit, their findings, recommendations and next steps.
In closing, Panneflek thanked persons in the community who contacted CPS, and further encouraged persons to come forward and call their general practitioner or CPS at 914 if experiencing any signs or symptoms that may be related to COVID-19.
“If you have been placed in quarantine or isolation, I urge you to follow the advice of CPS and remain at home.
“I would like express words of thanks for CPS who has worked tirelessly for the free drive through testing campaigns. Your dedication to make our environment a healthy one...does not go unnoticed,” Panneflek concluded.