Virtually no vaccination progress among 18 to 30-year olds

While vaccination rates have slowly edged higher across most age groups in the past 30 days, there have been very few vaccinations of 18 to 30-year olds in six weeks.

About 69% of people in that age bracket have received at least one jab, compared to 68% on 29 June.

In contrast, the vaccination rate among 12 to 17-year olds has jumped from 37% to 61% since 11 July.

In all other age groups, government’s 80% full vaccination target has effectively been reached, following 3 to 4 percentage point increases over the past month.

This chart compares vaccination rates on 10 Aug. (blue) to 11 July (orange).

But while current figures may give the impression that the target required to commence a phased border reopening will be reached soon, Cayman’s comparatively young population means that the 80% full vaccination goal for the entire population is still some way off.

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Of the 99,065 COVID-19 vaccinations given in total, 50,607 people have had at least one jab and 48,458 have completed the two-dose course.

Based on an estimated population of 71,106, this equates to only 71% and 68% of the population, respectively.

According to the government’s revised estimates provided by the Economics and Statistics Office, obtained by the Cayman Compass through a Freedom of Information request, approximately 9,047 children, or 12.7% of the population, are under the age of 12 and cannot be vaccinated.

According to the population estimates, about 81.6% of the eligible population and 83% of adults over 18 have had at least one jab.

At the same time, that means an estimated 11,452 people are currently still unvaccinated. Based on government’s 80% target, another 6,278 people will have to come forward to reach the threshold for the entire population.

In the 30 days since 11 July, only 1,665 people have received their first jab.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee said, “We should be very proud of how far we have come as a country. It is not uncommon to see vaccine numbers lag at times as people go through various decision-making processes.

“However, the pandemic has taught us how truly connected we all are and as we start to re-open the borders more of us will need to be vaccinated to help protect the most vulnerable in our community.”

The population data shows that more needs to be done to encourage residents under 30 and teenagers to get vaccinated. In addition, the age brackets between 30 and 49 years represent the bulk of the population and contain almost as many unvaccinated people (4,700) as the 12 to 29-year age groups (4,850). Only among the over 50s is the number of unvaccinated smaller (1,730).

Cayman has a larger working age population and a much smaller retirement population than the UK. – Source: ESO, Statista

The population data does contain a small silver lining for healthcare provision in the islands.

Cayman has a comparatively large young and working age population, and a much smaller senior and retirement population than many other countries.

The median age in Cayman was just 35 years at the time of the 2010 census. This is lower than the 38.1 years in the US, 40.5 years in the UK, or 45.7 years in an ageing society like Germany’s, for example.

Cayman’s population of over-60s is small, at less than 13% compared with 24% in the UK or 28% in Germany.

This is an advantage as the demand for healthcare services typically increases with age.

That is particularly true for COVID-19.

Although in most countries, COVID infections are now more prevalent among younger people and cases of illness have increased among the young as a result, older people remain more susceptible to developing severe symptoms requiring hospitalisations.

And they are also much more likely to die from the virus, if they are unvaccinated.

Overall, this means the group of the most vulnerable in terms of age is smaller than in other countries and the threat of the coronavirus is, statistically at least, slightly lower.

That does, however, not mean that the risk is low or that hospitalisations and death from COVID-19 among unvaccinated young people are rare, as statistics from Public Health England for the first week in August show.

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  1. Does this surprise anyone? Bottom line, we are not reaching 80%. Figure it out PACT, admit your plan is failing. At least man up and tell everyone we will continue doing the same thing we are doing now until sometime in 2022. Admit that there will be no high season for tourism this year and that you have no intention of bringing tourism back in the near future. Admit you will keep the 5-day quarantine for only those few visitors with vaccines you consider securely verifiable and have all others that are vaccinated quarantine for 10 days.

    The 18-30-year-olds are not jumping up to get the jab so they can possibly win a prize. Clearly, the carrot is not working. Those not wanting to get vaccinated are not going to get vaccinated. We have reached the saturation point. Why is this so difficult for our government to figure out?

    • What I find sad is that the CIG is trying to protect those who reject science and logic. Everything you said is spot on. Their attempt to get to “0” will NEVER happen.

      I heard today that a Cayman Marl Road post on their Instagram account suggested Covid 19 was possibly causing males to become impotent. You can’t fix stupid.

  2. “Based on government’s 80% target, another 6,278 people will have to come forward to reach the threshold for the entire population.”

    If they could maintain the current vaccination rate (NOT) it would take more than 200 days to reach 80%

    See you in 2023!

    While this may be the wrong thread a friend of ours who we met in Cayman has recently bought land in the U.S. Virgin Islands and will build a home there. There decision was based on the current restrictions in Cayman.

  3. Beth H, very well stated. I would only add that those that chose to remain unvaccinated for whatever reason have made a decision, now accept any consequences from that decision for their health and let”s move on. Remember as a vaccinated person, the data shows a very high likelihood that I will not have a serious illness or hospitalization.

  4. I agree completely with Beth H. I have been traveling to Cayman from the United States for almost 40 years. Due to us not being able to come back since COVID, we recently traveled to Turks and Caicos where we have never been. They required a negative test and specialized travel insurance-no proof of vaccination. Once there you had to wear masks indoors and restaurants had contact tracing. Tourism is booming there-we met more people then I could count who also had only gone to Cayman prior and now were in Turks really loving it. If they can figure it out why can’t Cayman? I think if this is not figured out soon the tourism business will have a very difficult time coming back. Maybe the thought is because of the banking business they don’t need the tourism?

  5. We too vacationed in Grand Turk with family snd it is beautiful and they welcomed us. Their policy to enter changes Sept 1 to where you have to be vaccinated if you are over 16 or produce a letter from Dr explaining why you can’t be. Here is their recommendations for what vaccine records they will accept.
    Would be nice if Cayman accepted this.

    New rules for Turks and Caicos as of Sept 1. Everyone over 16 has to be vaccinated. Info uplifted to portal before travel so time to check out. PCR test before travel.

    Vaccine proof can be in one of two forms (which will need to be uploaded to the TCI Assured Portal): 
1. A vaccination letter signed by a medical professional (physician or registered nurse with license number), or 
2. One printed from an electronic vaccination data base. 

Hand written vaccination cards will not be accepted.

  6. Congratulations Cayman Islands ! Six weeks ago, on Friday 2nd of July, the number of fully vaccinated in CI achieved Cayman Islands’ original vaccination goal of 45,500 to open the borders (70% of 65,000), an amazing accomplishment ! Today, with 48,458 fully vaccinated in CI, we continue to be told it’s not enough. Why isn’t it enough? Changing the original reasonable goal by 25% to 56,880 (80% of 71,100) raises many questions – all deserve answers. Here are a few:

    Why increase the population estimate from 65,000 to 71,100? Is 71,100 an estimate of future population? What’s the data for the new estimate? Why are on-line 2021 estimates of 66,497 wrong? Though thousands of the 2020 estimated 65,722 departed last year, does data exist to verify 2021 population actually increased so much? Have population changes and vaccination status of both out- and in-bound been carefully tracked? Was population reduced by number of out-bound departures? Will in-bound arrivals who were fully vaccinated before arriving be added to the vaccination count? Can estimate of expected vaccinations in CI after borders open be added to the vaccination count for unvaccinated holdouts (who feel vaccination currently unnecessary until borders open, or who prefer not having thousands of tourists, or who are against opening the borders)?

    Why was originally chosen vaccination coverage changed from 70%? Why increase to 80%, a coverage rate not seen elsewhere? Does any science prove 80% as absolute minimum necessary to achieve what? Though covid vaccines are not effective for everybody (e.g. 95% effectiveness means in 20 fully vaccinated, one is expected to be unprotected), did an unrealistic hope for absolutely no CI community breakthrough infections lead to choosing such high 80% rate? Was choosing 80% a misuse of Pareto Principle economics? At what coverage rate is the economic point of diminishing benefit? Must each eligible age subgroup achieve the chosen overall coverage rate? Can the chosen coverage rate apply to the whole group of all vaccine-eligible population age 12 and older? [e.g. 80% of 87.3% would be target of 49,486 fully vaccinated which will likely happen soon after 19th of August.] Do our CI leaders understand a desired vaccination coverage rate is a management choice, not a science fact?