COVID-19 vaccines are now the focus of coronavirus prevention and residents of the Cayman Islands are encouraged to help protect our community by getting vaccinated. The Cayman Islands vaccination is already at 61% and has a goal of getting as many people vaccinated as possible, with the existing supply of vaccines available through the end of June 2021. This means that each person will have to take their first dose by June 9th, 2021. But just how effective are COVID-19 vaccines and do they protect against variants? The short answer is that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are over 90% effective and are also showing good effectiveness against variants. Take a look at the latest data and links below.
Researchers have found that the vaccines are effective and beneficial across a variety of demographics and variables. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are over 90% effective in protecting individuals with no prior infection while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 72% effective overall. See the link below for more information on the efficacy rates and for comparisons of the vaccines.
Studies have shown that the vaccines appear effective against variants despite concerns of emerging coronavirus mutations. A recent study involving 200,000 individuals showed approximately 90% protection against severe disease caused by the B.1.351 and B.1.1.7 variants among those who were fully vaccinated. An ongoing booster shot trial involving 40 participants showed results in that all participants displayed measurable levels of antibodies against the variants after being fully vaccinated.
Many countries with large percentages of their population already vaccinated are experiencing the benefits. Recent evidence has shown the Pfizer vaccine remained effective against severe disease and death in South Africa, despite concerns about the B.1.351 variant. Similarly, data has shown 97% effectiveness in the United Kingdom, where the B.1.1.7 variant was dominant. Vaccines, with the help of T-cells, play a crucial role in long-term immunity when exposed to a virus. In regards to COVID-19, T-cells can identify 52 parts of the coronavirus and are more than capable of fighting variants. Earlier research on vaccinations show that T-cells protect up to 34 years after exposure to measles and up to 17 years in patients who had SARS.
The Cayman Islands may be on its way to its own success story if it follows in the footsteps of other countries which have achieved high vaccination rates. Infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, states that the variants of coronavirus are “all the more reason to get vaccinated.” Not only do the vaccines protect against dominant variants, they are also effective against several other types of lesser variants in countries with high vaccination rates. Israel, having 80% of their eligible population vaccinated, displays success in the Pfizer vaccine as they celebrate the plummet of COVID-19 cases. With some help from vaccinations, Israel prepares for normalcy again as they reopen schools, restaurants, and workplaces, creating a safer environment for their people.
Vaccinations can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep all of us in Cayman safe. With over 90% effectiveness and success against variants, Caymanians should view getting the vaccine as the next step to normalizing our lives while maintaining vigilance against COVID-19. Ready to get vaccinated? Click here to view the current vaccination schedule. And hurry, because the existing supply of Pfizer vaccines is only available through the end of June.
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