The following press release from government sounds pretty much like a desperate call for persons on St. Maarten to make themselves available to take the vaccine. When you look at the effort that went into encouraging persons to take the vaccine, it is fair to conclude that it was not at all convincing. That of curse left lots of persons in doubt about whether they should take the vaccine or not.
CPS did what they could under the circumstances but the results are showing that little confidence is out there about the importance of taking the vaccine. That could be blamed on many things. However, slogans and statements in a press release are not enough to convince people to take the vaccine; what would help is to see those that are more influential in our community, our politicians, the Governor and Ministers pictured taking the vaccine. The following is the press statement from the Government department of Communication that would confirm the preceding analysis:
CPS administering COVID-19 vaccines to seniors, & persons with underlying conditions to avoid spillages:
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten: (DCOMM) – Due to an unexpected number of people who did not show up for their appointment, and the number of persons 60 years and older that registered for the vaccine is growing slower than expected, more vials with the Covid-19 vaccine were defrosted at the start of this week than can be used for eligible seniors who have registered.
If these vaccines do not get administered this week, they will have to be thrown away as each vial can only be kept for 120 hours after being defrosted. Given the extreme scarcity worldwide, and the value of these vaccines, and their high demand for the vaccine in other priority groups on our island, spillage is to be prevented at all costs.
Therefore, the Vaccination Management Team (VMT) decided to offer these vaccines to seniors and those with underlying health conditions from organizations whose, jobs are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to frequent interpersonal contact.
The organizations selected are the Sint Maarten Police Force, Ambulance and Fire Departments, Funeral homes, Customs Office, and the Inspectorate of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA).
To avoid situations like this, the Collective Prevention Service (CPS) would like to once more encourage everyone to register for the vaccine, even if it is not yet their turn. This is even more important for those who are 60+, because this is the first priority group that is currently being vaccinated and for which the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is intended. If more people register, the planning of the appointments will become easier and spillage can be prevented.
The VMT would like to encourage everyone to provide a helping hand to those who need help in the registration and vaccination process. If you have a friend, parent, neighbour, or relative who might be struggling, please offer to help with registering, transportation, comfort, or providing information.