First deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines around the 15th of February to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom

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BES Islands — The Caribbean part of the Kingdom is on track to start vaccinating against COVID-19 around the 15th of February 2021, just as planned. The RIVM is preparing the first shipments of vaccines. For Saba and St. Eustatius it concerns the first delivery of the Moderna vaccine. For Bonaire Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten, this first phase concerns vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer.

Hard work

Minister Zita Jesus-Leito (Curaçao), Minister Danguillaume Oduber (Aruba), Minister Richard Panneflek (Sint-Maarten) and State Secretary Paul Blokhuis (the Netherlands), have jointly confirmed in their four-country consultation that they want to offer the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to all adults in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. The ministers conclude, together with vaccination envoy Marc Sprenger, that a lot of people involved are working very hard on all islands to be ready in time for the implementation of the vaccination campaign and that it is very encouraging that the first batches of vaccine will be delivered around February 15th . For the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, this creates extra perspective on the end of the corona crisis. The aim is to complete the vaccination campaign on all islands / in all countries before the start of the hurricane season.

Vaccination envoy

By order of State Secretary Paul Blokhuis (VWS), vaccination envoy Dr. Marc Sprenger (former DG of RIVM) is assisting the islands of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom to start vaccinating in time. The vaccination envoy, together with the RIVM, has visited all islands to discuss the progress with all local stakeholders. The necessary equipment has been delivered and the staff involved has been trained in ‘cold chain’ and vaccine management. The vaccination envoy and the RIVM have identified a number of further action points for each island. If these are met, the vaccination programmes will start.

Moderna en BioNTech/Pfizer

On Bonaire, Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten, the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine will be in the first phase of vaccination to the healthcare workers and people older than 60 years. In order to work as efficiently as possible and to limit wastage of vaccine to a minimum, the Moderna vaccine will be offered to all adults in one batch on the small islands of Saba and St. Eustatius. The vaccines for the first phase will be delivered and distributed in several batches.