On Monday, July 5th, the Belair Community Center reopened for the administering of the COVID-19 vaccine from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM from Monday to Thursday.
Upcoming Friday, July 9th, is the last opportunity for persons to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine so that they can receive their second dose before the end of the month.
On August 1st, the mass vaccination campaign will transition into a maintenance phase. In this phase, it is not yet sure, which vaccine will be offered, and while the vaccine will still be free, the administering of the vaccine might be accompanied by a fee.
The Vaccine Management Team (VMT) strongly encourages everyone who hasn’t received their vaccine to come to either the Collective Prevention Service (CPS) at the Vineyard Office Complex or Belair Community Center this week.
The VMT adds that we now know more and more about the detrimental effects that the COVID-19 (and new variants) can have. 10-20% of persons infected with COVID-19 develop what we now call: “Long Term Covid’’. This means continuous tiredness and/or mental health problems and the inability to taste or smell anything for months after your infection. Additionally, contracting COVID-19 while being pregnant can have serious health consequences for both mother and child.
It is for this reason that all over the world, vaccines are in incredibly high demand. The Pfizer vaccine which is available to all residents of Sint Maarten will reduce the chance of contracting COVID-19 by 95%. This means that you can still get it if you are vaccinated. In the same way, you can still get pregnant if you use birth control, and the same way, you can still die in a car accident if you use a seatbelt, but that does not mean that you will not use birth control or a seatbelt, the VMT points out.
The vaccine is not a cure but a layer of protection. And in the slight chance (5%) that you do get COVID-19, this layer protects you against the severe and possibly deadly symptoms of the virus. The vaccine also reduces the chance of spreading the virus, so other people do not die.
The Pfizer vaccine is the best vaccine on the market and is available to the people of Sint Maarten for free for one more week – until Friday, July 9th. The VMT reiterates that this week is your last chance to go to either the Belair Community Center or CPS to get your vaccine for free. We know you can be scared or worried because there is a lot of fake news out there, but please be assured that 99.9% of the world’s medical experts and scientists encourage everyone the get vaccinated. On Sint Maarten, 39.737 vaccines were safely administered without any unexpected side effects or consequences.
Taking the vaccine will always be a personal decision. However, every decision has consequences, and if you would decide not to get vaccinated, you are putting yourself, your loved ones, and your country at risk and preventing us from getting back to our normal way of life, the VMT points out. The reality is that the world around us is changing in a way that we cannot stop. This means that it is likely that you’ll need to be fully vaccinated if you wish to travel, attend events, apply for certain jobs, or celebrate carnival because it is the only way we can safely resume our normal life.
Please do your part and get vaccinated while it is still possible and for free this week. Walk-in at the Belair Community Center on Monday to Thursday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, at the CPS at the Vineyard Office Park on Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM, and at Caribbean Cinemas from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Fridays only.
Sint Maarten Protected Together.