The Vaccine is Coming, but don’t let your guard down

I read just recently that the vaccine goes live 12 days post-pricking, so don’t think you are in the clear as soon as you leave the clinic, and there is no data to support immunization with just one dose, you must be good, and show up for the second appointment too.

Anti-vaxers in Aruba will have a choice, they may refuse vaccination, according to MinTvS, though the logic beats me. We have for years complied with yellow-fever vaccination requirements when travelling to South-American destinations, so why oppose the Covid19 immunization?

In his first press conference of 2021, MinTvS outlined the vaccine procedures for Aruba, describing the current available options and reporting that the Netherlands will be providing the Dutch islands with vaccines as well as special refrigeration units, which in the case of the Pfizer vaccine, must protect the vials at a specific temperature. Special thanks to the kingdom!  

The 3 vaccines currently available are by Pfizer, stored in special refrigerators at -80C; Moderna, that requires storage at -20C and Astra Zeneca, happy in a regular cooler.

While other vaccines will be making their debut on the global scene, Aruba will have access to Pfizer first, a few thousand doses, the minister did not disclose how many precisely.

If you are curious about the cost, I read in different places quotes between $12 to $20 and $50, a dose. Israel reportedly invested $30 a pop and was generously supplied. It has to date been the leading country in the world in vaccination rate, having pricked one million residents, in two weeks, an enviable speed. It is aiming at vaccinating its entire population.

While many countries started their vaccination-drive, they are all struggling with logistics, and the rate in the USA and Europe is very slow. Europe was set to vaccinate its 450M residents ASAP, but because of various challenges, Covid19 is predicted to stick around for several more months.

They already have a name for it, Long Covid, describing the slow inoculation pace AND a collection of symptoms that linger on once the virus is gone, that sometimes turn into chronic illnesses that debilitate patients. The persistent symptoms include fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, insomnia and general weakness, loss of smell, and brain fog.

I hope Aruba is paying attention. Apparently getting the vaccine is the easy part. Its smooth distribution is the challenge. We don’t want any lines, nor agglomerations. DVG will have to plan things well and it would be fantastic for Aruba to make the investment – less than the Oranjestad tram, resulting in a One Vaccinated Island reputation.

According to MinTvS, our health workers will be the first jabbed. Then first responders, the Police, then seniors in homes, the general senior population, and people with pre-existing conditions, by mid-February.

The timetable is the following: Aruba will receive refrigeration units for the Pfizer vaccine on January 13th.

On January 25th and 26th, the Dutch AZV equivalent, the RIVM, will be here to determine if our level of preparedness is satisfactory.

According to MinTvS, Aruba did its homework and worked on a personnel plan, proposed vaccination points, storage facility, registry coordination, safe transport from storage to vaccination points, quality-inspected freezers, and the introduction of a population PR and communication strategy.

DVG, don’t let us down!



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January 06, 2021
Rona Coster