VSA Minister Omar Ottley.
PHILIPSBURG--Patients with a weak immune system can now get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Vaccination Management Team (VMT), in coordination with St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) announced on Thursday.
The Pfizer vaccine works well, boosters not yet needed for the general public, it was stated in a press release. The VMT and SMMC said the third dose is now available for severely immunocompromised patients in St. Maarten. Approximately 300 to 400 patients are currently being treated by a medical specialist in the context of one or more critical health conditions that decrease immunity. These specific conditions are stated on the RIVM website at: https://www.rivm.nl/en/covid-19-vaccination/vaccines/immunocompromised-patients.
In coordination with SMMC, the VMT will be contacting the patients who are eligible as per the above-mentioned criteria. These persons identified as eligible by medical specialists only, will be invited to receive the third COVID-19 vaccination shot. All COVID vaccinations will be administered at the Collective Prevention Service (CPS) office located at Vineyard building, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 12:00pm and 1:30pm and 3:30pm.
According to the press release, studies have shown that the vaccine offers excellent protection for the fully vaccinated even after eight months. “We can see this first-hand on St. Maarten, where the death rate is 1.6 per cent due to COVID-19 disease, and only 0.04 per cent were fully vaccinated. We will continue to keep the public informed about scientific studies and our plans for boosters,” it was stated in the release.
“At this moment, we continue to urge all persons to continue to get vaccinated so that we can reach herd immunity. Some persons with severely reduced immunity (due to sickness) are often not sufficiently protected even after two doses. Some of these persons can achieve better protection after a third vaccination, the Health Council of the Netherlands recently advised."
Third doses are different from boosters, and only considered for persons who a medical specialist evaluates as having a very weak immunity.”