Arrival COVID-19 vaccines BES islands

44,050 COVID-19 vaccines were delivered to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands last week. The delivery consisted of vaccines from Moderna and from Pfizer/BioNTech. The advisory report by the Health Council of the Netherlands will also be followed on the islands. The first groups to be vaccinated will be older people (over-60s) and care workers. Approximately 94 thousand island residents are in these groups. The first vaccines have already been administered on Aruba; the other islands will start vaccinating this week. 

Bonaire, Curaçao, Aruba and St Maarten received over 40 thousand vaccines in the first shipment, which they will administer in the coming weeks. St Eustatius and Saba are an exception; these two islands together have about 3,800 inhabitants. They will all be offered their vaccinations in a single round, and will receive the Moderna vaccine. In total, more than 340,000 island residents aged 18 years and older will be offered a vaccine. The aim is to have all vaccines (for the first and second vaccinations) delivered before hurricane season starts. This depends on vaccine availability.

Working together to prepare for vaccination programme 

In terms of organisational preparedness, the islands are ready to start. RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment delivered the necessary storage equipment to the various islands during a working visit in January. The islands’ implementation plans were also checked, and the people involved in the logistics process received training in cold chain and vaccine management. 

With the start of vaccination in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, the vaccination programme is gaining momentum. As of last week, all parties involved have started vaccinating. The three different vaccines that are available are all being used: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca. The millionth vaccine was distributed to the vaccinating parties last week. The millionth COVID-19 jab was most likely administered this past weekend.