Saba received the second batch of the Moderna vaccines on Friday, March 19. The second round of vaccinations will start this Monday, March 22.
“We are proud of the large number of people who came out during the first round to take their vaccination, and we are encouraging everyone to come for the second vaccination against COVID-19. It is very important to come for the second vaccination to get the maximum level of protection. This will also help to protect the youth and others who are not vaccinated,” said Head of the Public Health Department Dr. Koen Hulshof.
In the first round, 1,330 persons got vaccinated. This is more than 85 percent of the adult population, which is a very high percentage. Health authorities hope to reach 90 percent after the second round. Saba received 1,400 vaccines from the Netherlands; together with vaccines left after the first round, this is enough to give persons their second vaccination and to also vaccinate those persons who now want to start.
The vaccines were transported by the Royal Dutch Airlines KLM to St. Maarten, from where they were taken to Saba on the medivac helicopter. Vaccination will take place for a full week, from March 22-29, again at the Eugenius Johnson Center in the Windwardside.
People can come to take their second vaccination on the same day and at the same time as the first round of appointments. People need to bring their ID and vaccination card. Persons who got vaccinated at The Home on Wednesday last month in the first round are asked to come on Wednesday, March 24 to the same location from 10:00 am-1:00 pm for their second vaccination.
Persons who were vaccinated on Saturday in the first round are asked to come to the Eugenius Johnson Center on Monday, March 29 for their second vaccination. People who missed their first vaccination and would still like to be vaccinated can pass by on Monday, March 29, from 2:00-6:00 pm. In April, during the catch-up, these persons will be able to get their second vaccination. The free bus service to and from the vaccination location will again be available.
Instead of three vaccination stations, there will be two permanently manned stations at the Eugenius Johnson Center, with a third station on stand-by when it gets busy. The same crew as last time will be working at the location. “We will be providing the same great, friendly service that people experienced during the first round,” said nurse Lisette Riley, Manager Patient Care at Saba Health Care. The vaccination program is a joint effort of the Public Health Department and Saba Health Care.
After the second vaccination, more people are expected to have the regular side-effects. The side-effects will not necessarily be worse per individual, just a bigger group will likely experience them. The side-effects, just like the ordinary flu vaccination, can include muscle pain, headache, a sore arm, feeling tired, and possibly even a fever for 1 or 2 days.
Having as many people as possible vaccinated contributes to a safer island and creates the prospect of return to some normalcy.