As of 4 March, 25.5% of the population, or 16,603 people, had received at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, while 8,805 of those had completed the two-dose course, according to health officials.
Cayman’s vaccination rate per capita is ranked seventh in the world, according to research group Our World in Data. The only countries or jurisdictions that rank higher are Israel, British Overseas Territories Gibraltar and Bermuda, and island nations Barbados, Seychelles and the Maldives.
Premier Alden McLaughlin has said that once 70% of Cayman’s population has been vaccinated, the government is likely to abolish mandatory quarantine periods for arriving passengers who have been inoculated.
With Cayman’s population estimated to be just under 65,000, according to the Economics and Statistics Office (based on figures from Spring 2020), 45,500 people would need to receive both doses of the vaccine before the quarantine could be scrapped.
McLaughlin, speaking at a press conference last month, said he expected the local vaccination rate to increase rapidly once inoculations become available to all sections of the community.
From Friday, 5 March, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all Cayman Islands residents, as vaccinations for ‘stage 3’ recipients begins, in alphabetical order. As the stage 3 recipients receive their shots, all those in stages 1 and 2 can show up to receive theirs on any day a clinic is open.
Stage 3 is basically everyone over the age of 16 who is not in stages 1 or 2.
Only adults are being vaccinated, as there has not been enough research yet on the effects of the vaccine on children. Also, young people who do contract the virus have been found to generally not suffer severe symptoms. According to the ESO’s latest available statistics – from the 2019 Labour Force Survey – Cayman’s under-18 population is 12,885.
Meanwhile, Cayman is edging closer to its target to inoculate 90% of the 60-and-over population. As of 1 March, 85% of people in that age category had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 90% of those aged over 70 had received at least one shot.