First Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine Successfully Administered in the TCI
(Caribbean Tourism Organisation) Following the launch of the TCI’s COVID-19 Vaccination program on January 11, 2021 the TCI can proudly state that it has efficiently administered its first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday, January 11, 2021, received, compliments of the United Kingdom, its first batch of 1,950 vials of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID‑19 vaccine; enough to fully vaccinate some 5,000 plus persons.
Vaccinations commenced on January 11, 2020 with country leaders and representatives from key groups across society, focusing largely on the elderly, persons with underlying conditions, healthcare, and front-line workers across the islands.
As of Thursday, February 4, 2021 a total of 6,114 persons had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
This includes 5,351 persons on the island of Providenciales, 452 persons on the island of Grand Turk, 142 persons on Parrot Cay, 87 persons on South Caicos, and 82 persons on the island of North Caicos. Vaccinations will take place on the island of Salt Cay on Friday, February 5, 2021.
The Government’s Primary Healthcare Clinic, which is responsible for vaccinating over 2,000 persons, began administration of the second dose of the vaccine on Monday, February 1st, 2021; 233 persons in the TCI have since been fully immunised.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government entered a MOU with the 5 on island private medical practices: Family Medical, Grace Bay Medical, Associated Medical Practice, Omnicare, and Carolina Medical on Thursday, January 21, 2021 to cover the cost of administering the vaccine to members of the public free of charge.
This partnership is responsible for 2/3 of the vaccinations in the TCI thus far; helping the TCI to expeditiously reach its goal of vaccinating over 5,000 persons within less than a month of launching its COVID-19 vaccination program.
Commenting on the successful administration of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in the TCI His Excellency Governor Nigel Dakin said; “We have delivered the first batch at higher speed than originally planned or expected – there has been absolutely no wastage – and we have now demonstrated that there is demand for a voluntary vaccination program across all the Islands touching all communities of our society.
That efficiency, demand and delivery were not a given when the vaccine first arrived, and it secures us more which I expect to arrive in mid-February.
Keep registering on the portal and if you have received your first shot, return at the 21-day point for your second.
Over 10% of TCI will be immune imminently and moving towards a proper herd immunity is our route out of this so be reassured moving forward we will secure as many vaccines as there is demand for it; we’ve shown we can manage this better than anyone originally imagined.”
Premier Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson in expressing her pleasure at the success of the program said; “I am very pleased that we have been able to vaccinate so many persons in such a short time.
I must thank those who worked across Government to deliver on this, particularly our Primary Health Care Team. I must also thank all of the Private Clinics who came on board to assist TCIG in delivering on this important national goal.
This is an important achievement which demonstrates to the UK that this gesture has been very welcomed. As we welcome the next batch, I encourage the vulnerable among us and frontline workers to continue to come forward.
This vaccine remains all of our best defenses and best chance at some form of normalcy during the life of this pandemic. I also wish to encourage all of our residents to continue to register as we seek to achieve our ambitious goal of vaccinating our entire adult population.
We continue as a Government to run an aggressive education campaign and so I encourage persons to read-only credible sources of information and follow your doctor’s advice.
As we continue to face the challenges of COVID, I encourage us all to follow health’s protocols and exercise even greater vigilance.”
Commenting on the initial rollout and the future of the program, Deputy Governor and Co-Chair of the TCI COVID-19 Vaccination Oversight Steering Committee Her Excellency Anya Williams said; “We are extremely pleased with the initial rollout of our COVID-19 Vaccination Program here in the Turks and Caicos and extend our thanks to the many persons involved in its success.
This includes; Primary Healthcare and Private Medical Practitioners team that did an exceptional job at administering such a large number of vaccines within a relatively short period of time; our Comms Team that did an amazing job educating the public on the pros and cons of taking the vaccine; our logistics team that led on planning, receipt, storage and distribution of the vaccine; our public and private sector partners that served as members of the TCI COVID-19 Vaccination Oversight Steering Committee; our entire team in the Ministry of Health and the general public for your great support!
We initially received from the UK 1,950 vials to fully vaccinate 5,000 persons.
Similar to Cayman and other countries, we were able to extract 6 doses from the majority of the vials, allowing us to administer additional vaccines with little to no wastage due to consistent demand.
We had great support for vaccinations from our healthcare workers where over 50% of staff and their families were vaccinated.
Frontline areas such as the Police, Prison, Immigration and Customs were also prioritized along within vulnerable and other persons with underlying conditions.
Appointments for first vaccines across the islands is currently closed. However, as stated by the Governor, we are actively working on the receipt of the next batch of vaccines from the UK which we anticipate later this month.
We, therefore, encourage persons to continue to register on the portal so that you can be scheduled for early appointments once the second batch of vaccines arrives on the island.
We are still actively engaged in the fight against COVID-19, but the completion of over 6,000 vaccines thus far is a major accomplishment for us in our plan to fully vaccinated, where supported, our entire population.”