~ persons are asked to discuss COVID-19 vaccines with house doctors. ~
PHILIPSBURG: --- Minister of VSA Richard Panneflek said on Wednesday at the Council of Ministers press briefing that CPS is focusing heavily on informing the general public about the COVID 19 vaccine that will soon roll out on St. Maarten. So far just about 1,600 persons registered for the vaccine will start at CPS then roll out to the community help desks, in Cole Bay and Dutch Quarter.
Minister Panneflek urged everyone to discuss the COVID 19 vaccinations with their house doctors, he said that the government hosted several information sessions already but said that he was not impressed with the turnout or followers at the information sessions.
The Minister explained that some persons have misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, he lamented persons are going along with negative news and not the news that will benefit them or their families.
When asked what was done to correct the situation where a local house doctor on St. Maarten spoke out against the COVID-19 vaccine in a video interview. The Minister said that the doctor in question attended one of the information sessions and he asked a number of questions and was given all the answers he needed from a known professor. Panneflek said there is no conspiracy or misleading information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines on St. Maarten. He said he does not have anything to hide and as such encouraged everyone to seek proper information regarding the COVID-19 vaccination.
The Minister further explained that so far, the number of persons that passed on due to COVID 19 on St. Maarten had underlying medical conditions. He said that everyone has been taking vaccines since infancy due to several types of diseases. Panneflek explained that had they not been for vaccines much more people would have died prior to COVID-19.
The Minister made clear that all persons residing on St. Maarten whether or not their immigration status is legalized will be vaccinated as long as they reside on St. Maarten.
The Minister made clear that vacationers who do not live on the island year-round will not receive the vaccination on St. Maarten. Minister Panneflek said that persons will be getting their vaccinations at their country of residence. He said that it does not matter if people spend part of the year on the island. Those persons he said will be vaccinated in the country where they are registered.