Updated: May 11, 2021
The Ministry of Health and Human Services is reporting that a whopping 56 percent of the adult population in the Turks and Caicos Islands has received first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, while 42 percent of adult population has been fully vaccinated.
In a news release on Tuesday, May 11, the ministry stated that a total of 19,515 persons in the TCI have received their first dose of the vaccine.
“This represents roughly 56 percent of the adult population and marks a tremendous milestone of the ongoing vaccination campaign which commenced in January 2021,” the release said, noting that close to fifteen thousand persons have been fully vaccinated.
“Additionally, 42% of the adult population or 14,803 persons are now fully vaccinated, having received both doses,” the release continued.
At a news conference last week at the Premier’s Office, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Hon. E. Jay Saunders stated that with a 70 percent vaccination of the adult population, the country could fully reopen once again. At this point, there is a curfew in place.
“The Ministry of Health and Human Services would like to encourage unvaccinated persons to strongly consider taking the COVID-19 vaccine,” the ministry urged.
“The vaccine on offer in the TCI, the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, is 95 percent effective and is safe,” it assured, pointing out that the number of active COVID-19 cases locally peaked to over 600 in February and has consistently declined since including the number of COVID-19 related admissions to the hospital.
“The TCI’s 28 positivity rate is now 2.7percent when considering PCR tests only. It is 2.3% when considering both PCR and antigen tests. This is the lowest positivity rate the TCI has recorded for a 28-day period since early December.
“This gives supportive evidence of the effectiveness of the vaccination campaign considering the country has remained open since July 2020. In order to build on this progress, as well as the continued reopening of the TCI economy, continued support of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign is needed,” the release continued.
Weighing-in on the achievement, Deputy Premier Saunders noted: “I would like to congratulate my team within the Ministry of Health on getting the 28-day positivity rate down below 3 percent. This is an amazing achievement and milestone.
“Combined with achieving 56 percent uptake of the vaccine (albeit for the first dose), 42 percent fully vaccinated, and the increased rate of uptake which will allow us to get a fourth batch of the vaccine this is a great achievement. With the continued support of the general public, we can look forward to continuing to build on these achievements so that the TCI can begin to return to normal.”
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health and Human Services is encouraging the general public to contact their health care provider for vaccination appointments and/or access the vaccination through community events by the Primary Health Care Department which is available at no cost to all residents.
The public is reminded of the COVID-19 Health Protocols:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
Maintain social distancing of 6 feet between persons
Wear face coverings in public settings (covering both your nose and mouth)
Avoid mass gatherings or crowds
Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or use disposable tissues
Comply with public health measures
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 which include; cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever, diarrhoea, loss of sense of taste or smell-please stay home and contact the Health Hotlines on 232 9444 or 333 0911
Do not visit health care facilities if you have symptoms or signs of COVID-19, call the Health Hotlines for guidance unless your symptoms are severe
If you are under quarantine by the Public Health Team, please remain at home and comply with the guidance provided to you.
If you are contacted by the Public Health Team as a part of contact tracing activities, please provide all of the information requested to assist them in their investigations
Get tested on a regular basis so that you can know your status. Free testing is available across the islands. The schedule is published by the MOH on a monthly basis.
Stay informed with the latest information from the Ministry of Health by visiting our website on https://www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus/
Consult with your healthcare provider regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and register online.