SABA — The Public Entity Saba on Tuesday sent an update to the local hospitality sector with regard to the upcoming vaccination program and the next phase of reopening the island. The sector was asked to encourage their employees to attend the two townhall meetings this week.
In the past weeks, the Saba Health Care Foundation and the Public Health Department have been preparing for the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, representatives from the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) in the Netherlands visited the island to assess Saba’s vaccination plans and to advise on the next steps. The assessment went well and with a few small adjustments, Saba expects to soon receive the go-ahead for its plan.
The freezer in which the vaccine will be stored has arrived on the island. There are some rumors that the vaccine arrived with this freezer, but that is not the case. While current indications are that Saba will be receiving the Moderna vaccine, this is not 100 percent certain as yet. Moderna would be the better option for Saba, because of the ability to store the vaccine on-island.
This would provide more flexibility for the vaccination process. Local authorities expect to receive the final confirmation towards the end of January as to which vaccine Saba will be receiving, how many vaccines and when the first batch will arrive. The hospitality sector was informed that until this information has been received, a definite date of when the next phase of reopening will occur cannot be given. The current aim for this next phase is May 1.
The number of persons who take the vaccine will have a direct impact on the next phase of Saba’s re-opening strategy. Therefore, local authorities will continue to lobby for the maximum amount of vaccine for Saba, which would result in the best re-opening scenario. An information campaign has been initiated to help the community better understand the vaccine and its benefits. The hospitality sector was asked for its support in this and requested to encourage employees, colleagues, friends and family to attend the town hall meetings this Wednesday and Thursday. There is also a vaccination hotline for persons who want to submit questions privately. The hotline number is 4165373.