During Central Committee Meeting: Lots of Information on Statia’s Vaccination Program

While not final choice has been made, the Moderna Vaccine seems a prime candidate for vaccination on the island. Photo: Moderna Inc.

Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- A whole lot of information was provided on Thursday afternoon in a Central Committee meeting of the Island Council. Lot’s of questions were asked, which were for the greatest part also answered.

The Government Commissioners, supported by experts dr. Gerwin Schobbe and virologist dr. Marc Sprenger, provided some initial details about the vaccination program. As venue for the island-wide vaccination program, the Earl Merkman Sports Auditorium is considered.

When it comes to the choice of the exact vaccine to be used, a final choice has not been made as of yet between the vaccine supplied by Pfizer and the vaccine supplied by Moderna. As the Pfizer vaccine requires storage at very low temperatures, a choice for Moderna may be plausible.


In the meantime experts from the RIVM have also arrived on the island to provide support to the local health care sector and to consult Government on the way forward. St. Eustatius is the first place visited by the team, which will later continue on first to Saba and then to Bonaire.


Acting Government Commissioner Alida Francis said she was happy with today’s meeting. “A lot of questions were asked and answered. And I mean a lot!” said Francis.

PLP Councilman Clyde van Putten also said he felt that a lot of information had been provided and in quite some detail. While Van Putten said he on a personal level was reasonably satisfied with the information provided, he was not sure if it was enough as of yet to convince those on the island who hesitate to take the vaccine. “Some explanation was also provided that the refusal to take the vaccine could have negative implications for those concerned, for instance that other islands may not receive them quite as readily if they have to travel, for instance for medical reasons”, said Van Putten.

Independent Councilman Koos Sneek he too looked back on the Central Committee meeting with satisfaction. “I have indicated that I am satisfied with the manner and commitment of Dr. Schobbe of the GGD and his team. I also support the policy of the Executive Council when it comes to the plans”, said Sneek in conversation with the BES-Reporter.

Sneek said that while he was in principle not happy with the very restrictive quarantine and PCR testing requirements to enter the island, he had to admit that it had also helped the island to keep Covid-19 off the island.

Sneek also said he would volunteer to take the vaccine, once available. “I feel that as a leader in the community, one also has to set the example”, said Sneek. Earlier, Van Rij and Francis had also made know that they both would take the vaccine as soon as it is available.


According to Francis, the information provided today is only the beginning of a much more extensive campaign to provide more information about the Covid-19 vaccine and the plans of the Executive Council to suppress the danger of Covid-19 infections on the island as much as possible.

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