VSA hopes to vaccinate all adults prior to start of hurricane season

 VSA hopes to vaccinate all adults  prior to start of hurricane season

CPS is located in the Vineyard Building

 PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Richard Panneflek said the ministry hopes to vaccinate all adults, age eighteen and above, before the start of this year’s hurricane season.

  The ministry is expected to begin the first phase of the vaccination campaign this month, which will focus on vaccinating all persons over the age of 60, as well as healthcare workers.

  This was announced by the minister during the virtual live Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday.

  Panneflek shared that the COVID-19 vaccination plan has been verbally approved by the team from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport VWS in the Netherlands.

  The first shipment of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines is expected to arrive on St. Maarten around February 15. However, it remains unclear the exact date when the administration of the vaccines will commence.

  In preparation for the arrival, Panneflek said that the Ministry of VSA is currently developing a registration system for the COVID-19 vaccination programme on St. Maarten. According to a social media briefing by the Department of Communications DComm, the vaccine will be provided free of charge to all documented and undocumented residents of St. Maarten. The vaccine, although highly recommended, is not mandatory.

  The VWS team visited the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) and the Department of Public Health last month. According to Panneflek, the purpose of this this visit was to carry out an assessment of St. Maarten’s readiness for the COVID-19 vaccine. The team also gave cold-chain training to professionals involved in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

  Panneflek said a vaccine management team from the Ministry of VSA and non-governmental partners has been established to prepare and implement the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

  Activities included in the campaign are informing doctors about the administration of vaccines, providing a safe storage location, arranging transport and the distribution of the vaccines.

  “With your understanding, cooperation and support, we can make the upcoming vaccination campaign a success,” Panneflek concluded.