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Governor promotes health and economic advantage of Covid vaccine coming from UK in January

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Nigel Dakin, Turks & Caicos Islands Governor

#TurksandCaicosIslands – December 23, 2020 – Turks and Caicos is hoping the batch of free vaccines which will arrive in the territory early in the New Year will run out so quickly that the TCI would be in line for more, enough even doses to inoculate the entire population.

A first batch of Covid-19 vaccines for Turks and Caicos can immunize ten percent of residents and strong support for the voluntary shot could lead to enough vaccines for everyone.

“If we can’t demonstrate there is demand for the vaccine on the island or if we fail to use those vaccines to deliver the best possible effect it will be hard for myself, the premier and others assembled around me today to make the case that more should be set to us.  If we get this collectively wrong, we will end up with a very small and I daresay a very privileged group while the majority are not. We want to avoid that outcome,” explained the Governor in a midday press conference held at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales, TCI.

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When British Airways touches down at the Providenciales International Airport on January 7, it will have more than sun-seeking passengers on board; there will be precisely 9,750 doses of the Covid-19 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on board. 

It is one of four such dispatches of the coveted CoVax fanning out to UK Overseas territories in a demonstration of support from mother England.

Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Nigel Dakin on Wednesday on national radio and live social media stream made the announcement.

“In the first delivery, we will receive 9,750 doses.  Since each person requires two doses, administered 21 days a part, this is enough to vaccinate 4,875 people around ten percent of our population, if we get this right, more will follow.”

While senior residents, medically vulnerable and health care workers have long been touted as first in line for the vaccine once it was available, the territory’s governor  will lead the pack by getting the first jab along with his wife.

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“Having discussed with the CMO myself and Mandy will be the first to take it, we feel privileged to be in this position.  We go into Christmas as a family therefore looking forward to the first weeks of January when we will be able to protect our health and most importantly we both want to take the first step which benefits every resident of these islands.”

The governor said the goal is to get the Turks and Caicos as quickly as possible to herd immunity and he hopes for a rush of residents who will see the vaccine as the way to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“To do that, all of us have to think not only of ourselves but also of the contribution we’re making or not to the these islands. If we get this right, we will give a huge economic boost to TCI. We’ll steal business from others as we increasingly become known as one of the safest destinations in the world.  We are not just securing health, we are generating employment and future prosperity and we can get there long before others.”

In considering the fear mongering which has for months been linked to vaccine and the skepticism which exists in the marketplace, he aimed to quell concerns by labelling the act of taking the CoVax as the smartest approach; he also did some myth busting.

“The vaccine we are receiving is the Pfizer vaccine,” he added, “the vaccine does not inject Covid-19 into you.  It instead uses RNA to trick the body into producing viral proteins, which then delivers immunity.”

The RNA, scientists have confirmed, cannot alter one’s DNA.

“We have been chosen because we have direct flights in from the UK. Important because the vaccine has to be transported as minus 70° and there is a belief we are ready and prepared to use the vaccine to good effect.  This should be seen as another vote of confidence in TCI. Work has already begun on the complex logistics and we are confident we can roll this out across the islands.”

Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Gibraltar will also receive the vaccine from the UK in January.

“This is an enormously generous offer from the UK and a quite extraordinary opportunity for the TCI.  Given this is a voluntary program, it’s a moment for us to individually but also collectively seize or to lose.  Our destiny is in our hands, we can never say we were not given the opportunity.”

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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News

New Rules for Turks & Caicos JPs

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Rules governing Justices of the Peace in the Turks and Caicos are now significantly stricter after the passing of the amendment to the Magistrates Amendment Bill in July 2022.

Despite the fact that Justices of the Peace are allowed the same powers as a magistrate previously the only requirement for their appointment was the discretion of the Governor and that they be under 65-years-old.

That power has now been transferred from the Governor to the Chief Justice.

Justices of the peace have always by law been allowed to receive complaints, sign charges and issue warrants for the apprehension of persons charged with criminal offenses. They can also issue search warrants summons and administer oaths.

Considering the potentially unchecked execution of these powers, the attorney general’s chambers lobbied for a change in the system.

“These are very wide powers and there is no framework for the supervision and regulation of the whole of justices of the peace in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

The amendment rectified this and the Chief Justice now has the power to make binding rules and regulations governing the appointment of JPs, a code of conduct disciplinary action and orientation and periodic training for JPs.

In addition, to maintain separation of powers the governor will be stripped of the power to disallow laws made by resident magistrates. That power now belongs to the Chief Justice.

Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, TCI Attorney General maintained that the amendment was short but necessary.

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Health

Young People in TCI are having sex, Rapport wants to ensure they’re doing it safe

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Young people in the Turks and Caicos are very sexually active and while there are no concrete statistics, the newest members of the Rapport all said “Yes” to the question about whether there is rampant sexual activity.

“As a young person I totally agree that they are having a lot of sex,” Arean Louis said.

This is particularly concerning given wider statistics point to a very young age group which is still contracting HIV/Aids.

“Caribbean statistics are showing that between the ages of 15 and 25 those have the highest amount of HIV rates.”

A five person delegation was this past  week representing the Turks and Caicos Islands at the International Aids Conference, staged in Montreal, Canada July 29 – August 2, 2022.

Young adult members of Rapport TCI all agree that youth in the TCI must be made aware of HIV and other STIs. Arean Louis, Denae Dennie and Arielle Neely spoke to Magnetic Media on their way to the International AIDS Conference.

All three agreed that our young people are having a lot of sex.

“I would say that our young people are having sec the only thing that I would say is I hope that they are letting their partners know their sexual history, their status, and that they’re being safe.” Dennie said.

Louis added, “As we talk about HIV and AIDS in the Turks and Caicos Islands we most definitely need to bring awareness to our young people because there is no set age— kids nowadays just like to experiment.”

He stressed safe sex, using protection and abstinence to maintain sexual health.

“What we aim to do is keep them safe here, we’re tired and we don’t want to see anymore STD and STI new cases in the Turks and Caicos.”

Dennie says she still thinks there is fear surrounding HIV but with education and protection, the world can get to zero new cases and it was something she was looking forward to.

The final member Arielle Neely explained that there were not enough tools and resources to educate youth.

“There are not enough tools or enough record to educate them. Our parents think they’re doing a good job by telling us don’t have sex but telling us don’t have sex isn’t enough. You have to teach us about birth control planned parenthood.”

The three members had high hopes for Rapport and stressed that they need more members to make an effective change on sexual health in the TCI.

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