GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 Vaccine will be brought to you by several public health experts during a panel discussion on Thursday evening at 7.00 PM.
The session will be available via a Facebook Livestream organized by the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour (Ministry VSA), Collective Prevention Services (CPS).
The Facebook Livestream panel discussion will be opened by Minister of VSA Richard Panneflek. The livestream will be hosted by Roylyka Roache from the Department of Communication (DCOMM).
Speakers for the evening will include Eva Lista-de Weever, Epidemiologist, and head of CPS; Bregje Boetekees, Manager of Operations of the White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF); Dr. Anand Raghosing who is a general practitioner on the island; and Dr. A.J. Duits, Medical Immunologist & Director of the Red Cross Blood Bank Foundation, who is an absolute specialist when it comes to immunology and vaccines.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, which can lead some people to question the safety of the vaccine. The vaccine from Pfizer/BionTech, that Sint Maarten will receive in the first batch has proven to be safe and has by now been administered more than 50 million times.
It is very important for the island that as many persons as possible will be vaccinated because this is the only way to create herd immunity. At this point, this is the only way to stop the spread of the virus and thus end the pandemic, for more tourists to return to the island and for the economy to recover.
However, this is a situation that we’ve never experienced before, and so it is only normal that people have questions. And with the overflow of available yet contradicting information, doing your own research isn’t as easy as it may seem.
It is for this specific reason, that this event is organized: To provide the public of Sint Maarten with credible and science-based information on how vaccines work, how they are developed, which vaccine we will receive, registration, procedure, safety, efficacy, and what side effects can be expected. But most importantly, it provides the people of Sint Maarten with the opportunity to ask their questions directly to the experts. This can be done in advance via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or live via Facebook comments.
The Facebook Livestream will take place on Thursday night, (February 11) at 7.00 PM via Facebook.com/SXMGOV and carried simultaneously on the Government Radio station 107.9FM. The Livestream will be replayed on Cable TV Channel 115 on Friday at 10.30 AM and 6.30 PM.
The Facebook Livestream is a great opportunity for the Sint Maarten community to be informed about the facts and science surrounding the development of the vaccine that will save lives, and at the same time ask those pertinent questions that are on their minds.
The Government established a COVID-19 Vaccination Taskforce which steers the process of making the necessary logistical preparations as part of the National Vaccination Implementation Strategy for when the COVID-19 vaccine arrives on the island from the Netherlands.