Shortly before 12 noon on Friday, February 26, Saba surpassed the 1,000 vaccinations mark. Janelie Barnes was the 1,000th person to get her Moderna vaccine in a highly successful COVID-19 vaccination program.
Saba’s vaccination program got off to a good start on Monday, February 22 with 260 vaccinations in one day. On the second day, Tuesday, the 500th mark was surpassed with a total of 546 persons have received their vaccination. On Wednesday, February 24, vaccinations took place specifically for senior citizens residing at the Home and clients of the LIFE Center program, resulting in a total number of 623. By Thursday, February 25, the tally reached 908.
The Health Care Department together with Saba Health Care and with the assistance of the Red Cross has been running a smooth, effective vaccination program. “The dedication and super friendliness of this team contributed to the success of the vaccinations,” said vaccination coordinator Tedisha Gordon of the Public Health Department.
The vaccination team has been working in shifts, vaccinating 8 hours a day, with each team member carrying out their assigned task, said Gordon. There are flow coordinators, registration personnel, vaccinators, prep nurses, observation personnel, a doctor, and floor manager.
Persons to be vaccinated first arrive at the checkpoint outside the Eugenius Johnson Center, then proceed inside to the registration point. There are three vaccination stations, of which two are used on a continuous basis and a flexible third when it gets really busy. Once vaccinated, persons spend 15 minutes in the observation area.
“It has been a very good experience. People wear their ‘I got vaccinated’ button with pride. The community is very enthusiastic. There is a positive sentiment going around,” said Head of the Public Health department Dr. Koen Hulshof, who is particularly proud of the vaccination team. “We have a great team that also includes lots of volunteers.”
Saba has 1,450 to 1,500 current adult population. “We are well on track to vaccinate at least 80 percent. With these numbers, Saba can work towards partly reopening the island in May and easing the measures such as the mandatory quarantining upon entry, depending on the pandemic’s developments,” said Dr. Hulshof.
There are two days of vaccination left in the first round: tomorrow, Saturday, February 27 and Monday, March 1. Both days are for persons who didn’t register beforehand and those who could not make it to their original appointment. The second round of vaccinations takes place in about 4 weeks.