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TCI: A Vaccination Story

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#TurksandCaicos, April 2, 2021 – Mr. Speaker, I can proudly stand here and say that I am fully vaccinated and I want to put it on record my gratitude to all those that have made the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine so readily available on our shores and who have been working tirelessly in its distribution.

Today I want to tell a short story.

I was recently a fly on the wall as I listened to my wife explain to my daughter, Maya what it will take for us to get back to “normal” in the TCI. She put the idea of 80% of the population being vaccinated into practical terms and highlighted that as a mother there are a lot of fears that she doesn’t have to take on that parents in the early 20th century or even as recently as 40 years ago had to take on.

One hundred years ago prior to MMR vaccines i.e. (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) there were millions of deaths of children yearly, and in 1918 about 5% of the world’s population was killed due to the Spanish flu Pandemic. We don’t have to worry about diseases like Polio because our children are vaccinated and in the rare occasion when they are not, the majority of the population has been vaccinated, which keeps them safe.

Just for a bit of context Mr. Speaker, I’m sure that the majority of us in this chamber and throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands have had the MMR, Polio and other vaccines during our childhood. We all can recall vaccination day at our schools where nurses would come in from the hospital to give us our shot and we all have the little scar on our shoulders to prove it. 

Mr. Speaker, We have been kept safe from many diseases because our parents and our grandparents did what they needed to do. Although this strain of COVID-19 is new, vaccinations are not.

Research on flu vaccines were being conducted before COVID hit and its rapid engineering was made possible because the world came to a standstill. There has never been the amount of resources devoted to any other vaccine development in such a short period of time ever, and that’s why we have the vaccine.

The WHO tells us that next to clean water, nothing has a bigger impact on saving lives than vaccines. Vaccines use our body’s natural defenses to build resistance to specific infections and make our immune system stronger.

So Turks and Caicos Islanders and all that call these beautiful by nature islands their home, please get vaccinated.

I am overjoyed to be part of the government that brought such joys with a stimulus, but know that the only way we can really and truly stimulate our economy, get our kids back to regular learning full-time, live freely is by getting our population vaccinated.

Mr. Speaker, waiting and seeing will not get us there. Waiting and seeing will delay progress and put not only ourselves at risk, but all those we love and care about so deeply.

Thank you Mr. Speaker

Health

Moderna & Pfizer approved for toddlers in US

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, June 25, 2022 – Toddlers can now be vaccinated with either Moderna or Pfizer in the United States following the US Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee vote to authorize the jabs for the youngest humans.

Some 2.5 million vaccines were ordered for these youngsters from Pfizer and 1.3 million are on order from Moderna.

The authorization committee voted unanimously on both vaccines and it comes as a relief to millions of parents who opted to keep their children away from family gatherings, even school

The lowest age a US resident can now get vaccinated is 6 months, Pfizer says their shot is ready for children six months to four years old and Moderna goes one year higher at 6 months to 5 years.  Both Pfizer and Moderna say the toddlers will need boosters in the future.

As of June 2, there have been 442 children between the ages of 0-4 years old who have died as a result of Covid-19 in the United States.

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Health

Listeria kills three in UK

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, June 25, 2022 – At least 3 people have died in an ongoing listeria outbreak in the United Kingdom linked to smoked fish.  The Food Standards Agency in the UK says,  “Listeria is widespread in the environment and can contaminate a range of food at low or standard refrigeration temperatures.  It can be destroyed by thorough cooking.  It is of most concern in chilled, ready-to-eat foods that do not require further cooking, such as smoked fish.”

At least 12 cases, six of them since January, are linked to the fish.  Vulnerable individuals were especially affected by the outbreak including a pregnant woman and several elderly persons.  The three victims who died were all over 65 years old.

The agency said there was no need to avoid smoked fish but to cook it thoroughly.  Contaminated food may not look or smell spoiled but it can cause severe illness in pregnant women, cancer patients, children, and the elderly.

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Health

Training Camps announced early as more can join the Footsteps4Good Challenge

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Last year’s participants were the first ones to ever circumnavigate the Turks and Caicos solely on manpower and this year they’re back again and with a broader vision for the challenge which is also a charity.  It’s time for the second staging of Footsteps4Good and if you missed out last year you’ll want to get in on the event in 2022.

Coming up this October and organized by Governor’s wife Amanda Dakin , TCI Red Cross, OneTCI, and the Provo Road Runners, this year&#39’s adventure will span 13 days and 200 miles in an adventurous crossing of the islands and cays of the TCI once again. The organizers say there will be sections and stages to suit all abilities and fitness levels.  Contributions will be nominal, from $20 for the stage being entered by any participant.

The announcement is going out early this year so that all the ‘fitness fanatics’ who want to take on the entire 13-day journey of hiking, rowing and extreme walking will be able to join the fitness training camps to get them ready for the physically grueling experience.

It is no joke.  From blisters to burns to bites and flat out exhaustion; it will take grit to get it done and join up as part of history in the making.

Organisers point out that not many people can say they have gone around the TCI just using their bodies; and they ask: ‘will you be one this year?’

For those who don’t want to try defying the odds, you can participate in single-day events on the family islands including run-walks, boating, and cycling or just making a financial donation.

For more information, you can email info2022fsfg@gmail.com

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