#TurksandCaicos, February 2, 2021 – Herd immunity is the only way the Turks and Caicos will see an end to the restrictions, lock downs and upheaval to everyday life brought on by the coronavirus pandemic; a clear message from Dr. Denise Braithwaite-Tennant, Chief Medical Officer of the TCI Hospitals.
“To end the cycles of lockdown, we can’t keep the children (away) from school… we have to get back to normal, this is no way to live,” said the CEO of the TCI Hospitals on Monday.
Following her second jab of the Pfizer/BioNtech, UK-gifted vaccine, Dr. Braithwaite-Tennant made the profound statement, adding the vaccine is the route to normalcy; protection for people so they are better able withstand the Covid-19 infection and stability in hospital services.
“Our wards are full, full, full with people with severe disease. What does the vaccine do? It helps to prevent the sever disease because that’s a problem. That is why our wards are full right now, with people with severe disease. Taking the vaccine gives you a fighting chance that you don’t get severe disease.”
Individuals with mild disease, confirmed Dr. Braithwaite-Tennant, are able to stay at home and recover from the virus but the effects on some, often with pre-existing illnesses, are more detrimental to health; strains health care services and threatens life.
The threat to life is what forces governments to invoke public health measures like early businesses closures, curfews, lock downs and in the height of the pandemic, Turks and Caicos closed its borders to international travel.
The vaccination program, started on January 11, 2021 has been a complete success.
Residents literally got that shot in the arm which experts say will protect them from acute symptoms; the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine is WHO, EU and FDA approved with an efficacy rating of 95% over two shots.
The Turks and Caicos is in line for more of the vaccine from the UK as an overseas territory with direct link to the UK via British Airways commercial flights. Those flights were suspended last week until March, however.
The country’s goal is to inoculate all adults which would mean 75,000 more doses of the coveted vaccine for the territory.
“Please take the vaccine. When the next batch comes, let there be a run on the next batch too. We need your help. The one hospital needs your help, take the vaccine.”
Herd Immunity is defined: ‘resistance to the spread of an infectious disease within a population that is based on pre-existing immunity of a high proportion of individuals as a result of previous infection or vaccination.’
Turks and Caicos, as with anywhere else, has to have at least 80 percent of the population vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.