Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- Government Commissioner Alida Francis is worried about the low vaccination grade on the island.
Francis said that while the island so far had been very lucky to escape serious situations in the Covid-19 pandemic, sister islands like Curaçao and Bonaire had not been so lucky. “On the one hand we need to protect our island, but on the other hand we cannot keep the island closed”, said Francis.
Francis said that she noted that there was a very low vaccination grade under some families on the island, with family members who fall in the so-called ‘risk categories’.
The Commissioner also spoke about new variants popping up. “There are every more variants and these are often times more dangerous and more infectious”. Francis also called on residents to still get vaccinated. “On Statia we vaccinate with Moderna, one of the safest vaccins around. And for those who do not want Moderna, we can offer the Jonshon vaccin”. The advantage of the Jonhson & Johnson vaccine is that only a single shot is needed, as opposed to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, which require two shots.
Francis also pointed out that the side effects of the vaccines were relatively minor, compared to other advantages the protection of the vaccines were offering residents. “If we look at Statia, the side effects have been really mild and no one got seriously ill after taking the vaccine. We can therefore say that the vaccine is safe.
While the vaccination grade on Saba (90%) and Bonaire (78%) is relatively high, it is relatively low on St. Eustatius with not even 50% of the adult population now completely vaccinated. While the vaccination grade is even lower on St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba are also about 65% vaccinated.
Francis, at the end of her video statement appeals on all residents to contact the Health Department to register for vaccination with either the Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.