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TCI vaccine strategy is world-aligned to save lives

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Dr. Nadia Astwood, TCI Chief Medical Officer

#TurksandCaicosIslands – December 23, 2020 — The goal is to save lives in the administering of the Covid 19 vaccines which the Turks and Caicos will on January 7 receive in a special delivery from the United Kingdom.  Dr. Nadia Astwood, TCI Chief Medical Officer joined the Governor and Minister of Health in a press conference Wednesday.  She said the vaccine strategy for the territory is already approved.

“The priority groups for the first phase of vaccinations will include the elderly, health care workers, those with underlying medical conditions who are at greatest risk for hospitalization if infected and those who ae living and working in congregated settings, such as long term care facilities.”

TCI’s vaccine strategy, informed the CMO, will broadly follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization and Public Health England, which puts the wider public as last in line for the Pfizer vaccine.

UK has dispatched 9,750 does to the Turks and Caicos; each recipient will require two shots.  The firt a primer, the second a booster and they must be taken within 21 days of each other, else the dosage is wasted.

Pregnant women and healthy children under 16 years old are also not top priority, said Dr. Astwood as she aimed to tackle FAQs within her presentation.   A lack of evidence or research to outline the vaccine’s impact on pregnant women and the absence of data because clinical trials on younger children are yet to begin were cited as the key reasons these groups will not be among the first to be vaccinated.

The Covid-19 vaccine, like the flu vaccine will be a shot to the upper arm.  However, unlike the flu vaccine one must return for the second shot.

“You will not be fully protected until you have the second dose and he full efficacy of the vaccine will not be realised until seven days after the second vaccine. So this is at day 28 and so that means you will still need to take the usual precautions.

Dr. Astwood admitted to unknowns about CoVax; including whether it will be a onetime shot which gives protection for life or a seasonal shot similar to the flu vaccine.

Patients who have recovered from Covid-19 are encouraged to sign on for the shot.

“If you have had Covid previously,  you should get immunized, the immunity that results from previously having the infection, otherwise known as natural immunity, is thought to not last as long as the protection that would be offered by the vaccine.”

There is a five percent chance you could still get sick as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which the TCI is being gifted by the UK has a 95 percent efficacy rate.

“It’s also possible to get sick with the illness a few weeks after the you’ve first had the vaccination and then be exposed to the virus, so it takes time for the body to build the immune response after being vaccinated so therefore it is critical to have the second dose and wait the additional time after you’ve received the second dose.”

The vaccine is not compulsory in the Turks and Caicos Islands, reminded Dr. Astwood.

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Caribbean News

Police De-Briefing with TCI Governor Daniel-Selvaratnam

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#TurksandCaicos#Anti-Crime, February 23rd, 2024 – De-briefing Acting Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre held a meeting with Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris, today (February 21st ) at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.

The debriefing was to discuss concerns raised by residents during last evening’s Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting at the H.J Robinson High School, Grand Turk. Commissioner Eyre expressed his deep appreciation to Her Excellency and Hon Morris for their attendance, saying that work was already underway to address the community concerns.

Commissioner Eyre said: “I acknowledge the challenges raised and wish to assure you that the Executive of the RTCIPF remains steadfast in ensuring the TCI is safe. We listened to your concerns, and I assure you that rebuilding trust and strengthening community-policing relations are top priorities.“

The RTCIPF has taken a holistic approach in the fight against crime. Increased visibility, greater stakeholder collaborations and ongoing dialogue forums to appraise you will occur. We are accountable to you.”

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Too much secrecy with Airport Tax increase says former Deputy Premier Sean Astwood

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Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicos#Tax, February 23rd, 2024 – “The TCIAA should not be allowed to announce and implement new or increased taxes or fees in this already difficult financial climate without more details,” says Sean Astwood, Former Deputy Premier regarding the increase in the  Airport Development Fee from $20 to $35 describing the increase as not proactive but premature.

Astwood said there were a number of questions that he believed every Turks and Caicos Islander should ask and have the right to know the answers to including ‘Why now?’

The Opposition PDM member pointed out that only one airport has international flights and it would soon undergo a change in structure, paired with the ‘unexplainable’ delay in the completion of the airport in South Caicos and the possibility of ongoing negotiations in relation to the one in North Caicos, he queried: ‘Why not wait to see what amount or step may be needed in facilitating services in these Airports before a hike in fees?’

“In this climate, taxpayers must have more information and the benefit of a complete picture from not just the TCIAA Chiefs but from the Premier himself. The people must know what the current earnings of the TCIAA is; how has the management of the Airports increased to warrant such a large increase; how much does it cost to operate all of these airports; what is the estimated increase in revenue and how will these monies be used,” the former DP said.

He also questioned the avalanche of resignations that had recently affected the TCIAA

“I have serious concerns with the Premier’s oversight of this matter knowing that the TCIAA is no doubt experiencing a major problem with the vast number of Turks and Caicos Islanders resigning from their positions including high level positions. This alone requires a more in-depth investigation.”

Astwood also demanded information about the ongoing canopy project at the Providenciales/Howard Hamilton International which should have been completed in less than six months but was running on two years.

“TCIAA has quickly developed a reputation for big spending recently and stalled projects. We need answers as taxpayers. Why now? How much do you intend to raise? How will it be used? The people deserve a response. In a “proactive” step, this information must be provided to the public before this increase is implemented,” he ended.

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Justice system instructed to improve coordination 

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Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicos#Violence, February 23rd, 2024 – Violence exploded in the Turks and Caicos between January 26 and February 2nd, and with signs pointing to the involvement of recently released convicts the National Security Council is on a mission to reduce the risk of flare ups when offenders rejoin society.

The Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and other criminal Justice partners have now been instructed to review how they coordinate with each other and complete their specific roles to support case progression. Assessments about public safety in respect to offenders during bail hearings are also to be given keen attention.

The NSC is also planning to engage with the Judiciary as part of this review to help with delivering verdicts in a timely manner,

Called after the January 26 killing in Grand Turk which allegedly involved a former inmate, the meeting gathered law enforcement and other partners so that the NSC could get a sense of how effectively they were working with each other to ‘secure criminal justice outcomes.’

“The NSC— sought briefings on the effectiveness of liaison between the RTCIPF, the office of the DPP and wider criminal justice agencies in respect of case progression, including the assessments made to public safety that inform representations at bail hearings,” a statement revealed.

The information detailing the January 30th NSC meeting was released on February 2nd.

With senior leadership from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), the TCI Regiment, TCI Border Force, HMP and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the room, the NSC looked into two incidents involving recently released inmates.

Two days after the meeting the NSC chairs had to be briefed again about another incident involving a former inmate where two men were left dead on February 1.

The Council headed jointly by Washington Misick, TCI Premier and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor says the risk reduction strategies discussed in the meeting NSC will seek to address HMP exit arrangements and risks to public safety.

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