Minister complains about missing flu vaccine

| 05/11/2009

(CNS): Although the UK agreed to supply Cayman with the necessary H1N1 vaccine earlier this year, Health Minster Mark Scotland says he is concerned that the vaccine has still not arrived. As flu statistics are rising with the onset of the winter season in the northern hemisphere, officials now say the swine flu vaccine is urgently required to try and keep the number of cases down as Cayman heads into its own short cooler period. “I am worried because we have not yet received a delivery date. I have therefore asked the governor to intervene and request that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office sends the doses as agreed,” Scotland said.

He confirmed that the UK agreed to supply Cayman with the vaccine to treat local residents. “This agreement was made during a May 2009 meeting of Overseas Territories ministers and the FCO and was further confirmed by the UK Department of Health,” Scotland added.

In the wake of news from the US Centre for Disease Control that there will be more illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths this flu season than is normal and a spike in flu activity expected here in December and January, there is an urgency to get the vaccine here as soon as possible, the health minister observed.

At present no Caribbean country has receivedH1N1 vaccine. The vaccine is also not available on the open market, unlike the seasonal flu vaccine, which was ordered earlier this year and is now available locally. While the public awaits the H1N1 vaccine’s arrival, Scotland urged proactive measures.

“Practice good hygiene, wash hands often and cough or sneeze into tissues. Keep sick children home and do likewise if you become ill. Minimizing contact with others when you have flu is a powerful way to limit the spread of the virus,” he said. He also called on those in high-risk groups to get the seasonal vaccine: “This is the best step until the H1N1 vaccine is available here; we want everyone to stay as healthy as possible.”

Meanwhile, public health officials are also working with the Pan American Health Organisation to secure the vaccine. PAHO will distribute the vaccine within the region once supplies are on hand.

Once the H1N1 vaccine arrives in Cayman, the Health Services Authority will launch a vaccination programme that will start with high risk groups. The first phase of vaccinations will focus on children younger than five, persons older than 64, those with underlying medical conditions, and essential workers, including those in health care.

The second phase of vaccination will include healthy children between 5 and 19 years of age and then healthy adults.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wait a minute…Did the press not report during the election that Anthony Eden had failed to provide the vaccine? Are we still looking for it?! I guess the media is having a ball wagging the dog!

  2. Not For Me Thanks says:

    I’ll share this recent video clip which I know is not definitive and is just one person’s opinion, however it illustrates that there are still valid concerns and questions regarding the latest vaccine in some people’s view.

    Hopefully it will encourage people to go and read both sides of the pro/anti arguments being expressed.


  3. Not waiting for vaccine says:

    Anyone that listens to the Local CMO and our Government should be shot.

    Do you really believe that the UK would send us Flu vaccine when it does not have enough for their own people?? Use common sense.

    Wash hands regularly, stay out of crowds, avoid sneezing people, carry Purell everywhere and use it every 20-30 mins, stay off/out of planes, hospitals, shops and airports, etc., do not kiss anyone as a greeting, do not shake hands. remain a good 5 feet from others. Parents please ensure your children are told the same and if they are sick keep them home even if you will miss work to do so.

    I predict that the CMO will change his tune after a few Cayman deaths and say it is much worst than originally thought but now they have the data to prove it—too late then for many.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the Honourable Mark Scotland had allowed the hospital to continue to keep stats on H1N1 infections we would be getting some.


    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe if you took the time to contact the public health dept you would have find out that the stats on H1N1 are up to date; but I guess like others proppgnada and lies sounds better.  The H.S.A. do have the stats.

  5. NSS says:

    Tamiflu is not a vaccine, it is a flu treatment medication.

    • kd says:

       You are right, please excuse me using the wrong term earlier. 

      However, although Tamiflu is not a vaccine, it can (and is) used for prevention of the fluin those that have been exposed to others with the flu (of any type). 

      What I meant earlier is that Tamiflu is the only drug available for treatment & so for those people who do not have the H1N1 vaccine readily available in their area, they can take Tamiflu when around others who are sick – this is how the pharmaceutical company gains from the media hype because even if it turns out that the affected person does not have H1N1, others may take Tamiflu out of fear before the test results are back.

  6. One Flu Over The Cuckoo's Nest says:

    They have yet to prove that there is a pandemic. There are no stats.  There have been no more fatalities this flu season than last.  The Tamiflu "vaccine" was rushed through approval processes and some were even sidestepped.  As well as cooking the figures on the symptoms.  What they have proven is that with the right spin and the co-operation of mainstream media they can scare the livin bejezzus out of us… and…it has made Donald Rumsfeld major shareholder a fortune.  And allowed the aforementioned testing to take place on innocent people.  He’s sick.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another genius!

      The WHO declared a panademic on 11 June 2009. A panademic is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the original country.

      Swine Flu has now killed 6,400, with fatalities on every continent (with the exception of Antartica), so panademic, doh!

      Tamiflu is not a vaccine, Duh!

      Expect deaths to go up higher than those quoted for seasonal flu, by the time the flu season has ended (it has only just started in the Northern hemisphere) and those for seasonal flu are all the types combined.

      The big scare will be if it mutates in someone with both Swine and ‘normal’ flu and creates a flu that affects the lungs.

      The reason why bird and to a lesser extent Swine flu are dangerous is our immune systems have not usually met anything like them before compared to "seasonal flu", so the body takes longer to fight it.

      Please remember that it is better to appear an idiot and say nothing that it is to open your mouth and prove it beyond all reasonable doubt.

      Next you’ll be blaming it all on the AG and the UK


      • Boston Tea Party says:

        This is just another part of the plot to bring down the Cayman Islands…all Ex-pats have secretly had their H1N1 shots at Calico Jacks and are now refusing to wash their hands.


      • One Flu over the cuckoo's nest says:

        I won’t argue the point with you.  Like yourself, I’m not making the presumption of being a genius. Please read this smartass:

        (this information is available at  a non-profit organization).

        By the week of August 21, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) had reported 182,166 confirmed cases of new swine (H1N1) influenza worldwide with 1799 associated deaths. The week of july 6 the WHO recommended that lab confirmation of swine flu cases stop being perfomred in many countries and advised that most symptoms of flu-like illness and pneumonia could be presumed to be caused by H1N1 swine flu. This presumption of causation could eventually lead to an overestimation of both morbidity and mortality directly caused by swine H1N1 influenza worldwide and in large nations such as the U.S.

        There are some reports that the H1N1 swine influenza is not as deadly and is not as easily transmitted from person to person as originally predicted by public health officials.

        As of August 21, 2009, the CDC listed 522 deaths and 7,983 hospitalizations associated with swine flu (H1N1) cases reported in the U.S. There is no information on lab confirmed H1N1 cases because the CDC has stopped recommending that suspected and reported cases be lab confirmed. To view the CDC’s Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report, click here.

        Thimerosal, which is a mercury-based preservative added to multi-dose vials of inactivated annual influenza vaccines and other vaccines, has been associated withbrain and immune system dysfunction, including autism. Thimerosal WILL be added as a preservative in multi-dose vials of most inactivated (injected) H1N1 swine flu vaccines, although there reportedly will be a limited supply of single dose vials of inactivated swine flu vaccine that do not contain thimerosal.

        According to the FDA, candidate swine flu vaccines will be tested for one to three weeks on a few hundred children and adults before being released for public use in the fall.

        There are indications by CDC officials may recommend that children receive annual influenza shots as well as one or two doses of swine flu vaccine.


        There will be little or no time between now and October to test the safety and efficacy of giving children two to four doses of different kinds of influenza vaccine.


        In 2005, Congress passed the Public Readiness & Emergency Preparedness Ac(PREP Act). Congress took away liability for experimental drugs and vaccines that are released for public use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) whenever a national public health emergency is declared by the Secretaries of the Department of Human Health & Services or Homeland Security in the federal government.  

        A federal compensation program was discussed in the  PREP Act  but, as of 2009, there has been no funding of a compensation program for children or adults injured or killed by vaccines or drugs used under an EUA.


        • Anonymous says:

          And your point is? apart from showing that you’re smart enough to copy and paste?

          Well done

  7. kd says:

     H1N1 has killed less people than the usual seasonal flu. It has been hyped up by the media as a ploy by the pharmaceutical company that currently has a patent on Tamiflu, the only vaccine available against H1N1 and Avian Flu (wasn’t that supposed to wipe us out too?). Oh and by the way, the patent (i.e. no other company can make versions of the drug) extends until 2016… make sense why there is such hysteria over everyone getting vaccinated now?

    My point: Give what resources we have to the largest risk groups (young people) & the rest of us do what we normally do to ward off seasonal flu. Think I’ll buy shares in Purell. 

  8. Not For Me Thanks says:

    Well if it ever arrives on island you are welcome to my dose of mercury. You can thank me later πŸ™‚

    • Anonymous says:

      There is as much mercury in a vaccine shot as there is in a tuna sandwich.

      Trustme, from your post I can deduce that you have no danger of any brain damage. (you need a brain before you can damage it)

      • Not For Me Thanks says:

        Lame insults from behind the cloak of anonymity always indicate tome the lack of any spine, character, wit or intelligence but that’s just my opinion. Mr Tuna fish sandwich bleats like most sheep in the hope that people will mistake it for knowledge – he probably reads his one liners from the back of a cereal packet.

        Enough medical professionals have expressed concerns over vaccinations for me to conclude that the risk/reward ratio comes out in favour of choosing not to have the vaccination should it be offered.

        99% of H1N1 cases are mild – this is a fact and is well documented. Scare mongering in the media and quoting numbers of deaths is always guaranteed to alarm people, because sensationalism thrives on what appear to be large numbers. If they used the "99% mild" figure it wouldn’t make for much of a story. Despite all the sensationalism, the passage of time has proved that to date, the virus is not killing huge numbers of people – just over 6000 worldwide since the outbreak began. Sounds a lot and of course, not good for those affected but measured against the worldwide population it is pretty insignificant in purely numerical terms and hardly lives up to the forecasts made by those with an interest in using fear to exploit the whole issue.

        As far as "pandemic" goes, one poster has already explained the definition of the word but again, the media love using it because it sounds "scary" and they know that a large number of people have misunderstood it and associate it with death and destruction on a large scale, which of course is not what it means at all.

        Rather than blindly accept what is presented to you as fact, all I would say is that if you have any doubts or concerns, go and find out more for yourself.

        Many vaccines include mercury and aluminium which are neurotoxins although in the levels used in vaccines do not necessarily present serious dangers. Squalene has also been singled out for scrutiny but again, the experts seem divided over how much of a risk it presents, if indeed any at all.

        What concerns many people in the US are changes in legislation controlling the testing and approval systems for such vaccines and this is often mixed together with other theories and opinions and sometimes some very mixed conclusions.

        I would say, don’t worry yourself silly over the issue. The virus is not that serious in most cases and the vaccine isn’t going to kill you either. My decision is based on the fact that large numbers of people in the medical profession have said they would not take the vaccine, together with the real, as opposed to imagined risks of the virus itself. Regardless of whether the ingredients are harmful in the short or long term, it does not seem at all necessary.

        As far as criticisms of the pharmaceutical industry and their greed goes,  the drug companies spent one billion dollars on lobbying in the US last year alone – seems they hardly need a few more pennies from me. Risk/reward evaluation is up to each one of us. Being uninformed is what prevents one from feeling able to judge for themselves so if you have any doubts or questions you know what to do.

        • Anonymous says:

          "insults from behind the cloak of anonymity always indicate to me the lack of any spine, character, wit or intelligence but that’s just my opinion."

          Pretty hypocritical from Mr Not for me Thanks

          At least I made you actauly look up some research, and frankly there is as much mercury in the vaccine as a tuna sandwich.

          As for not taking the vaccine, I say do the research yourself do not listen to me or the hypocrite.

          Yes some medical experts are against the vaccine, but far more see the risk of not taking the vaccine far far greater than taking it.

          My answer make an informed decision

          • Not For Me Thanks says:

            You are of course absolutely right about the hypocrisy but then I did not inititate the name calling or infer lack of intelligence on anyone’s part πŸ™‚ Your right to insult others is one thing, your expectation of being able to do so without redress is another.

            OK, so we’ve made our little "touches" let’s move forward. It seems that despite our little verbal fencing we basically agree and both advocate the same thing; that being that people make their own decisions after informing themselves of the facts. So yes, I’ll reinforce your message – don’t listen to either one of us except with regard to finding out for yourselves.

            For the record I did my research a long time ago (I’m funny like that, I like to know what’s going on in the world) and had seen the tuna sandwich quote several times in the course of that investigation.  I’m not much of a tuna fan either so I don’t ingest much mercury from that source and certainly don’t want any such neurotoxins injected into my bloodstream unless absolutely necessary and in the case of H1N1, as things stand right now, I do not deem the threat much of a threat at all.  

            My offer remains on the table however so, a little bit of good news for the pro vaccine crowd in that there will be at least one less body ahead of you in the queue πŸ™‚  


    • Dr Who says:

      Mercury has no protective properties and as a heavy metal is harmful.  Ignore anyone who says anything else.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Ignore anyone who says anything else."

        Do you work for the CMA, that’s their line, LOL

        Mercury has no protective properties…really have you tried gowing bacteria in it… no grows, hence it protects the vials between multiple doses

        So evidence then, over 1 million people vaccinated and the number of deaths from mercury poison…….nil (shock horror).

        The number of people who beleive hoax emails is staggering, I bet you’re still not drinking cols water with your meals



      • Anonymous says:

        I DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH METAL IT HAS , BUT FOR SURE MOST PEOPLE WHO GET THE SHOT ALSO GET THE FLU, AND THIS IS A FACT. Remember the polio vaccine that was recommended some years ago? Well it almost carried one of my relatives over luckily we were off the Island where the diagnostic was immediately, and the best care was given.There are still occasional pains.



  9. The Unusual Suspect says:

    Maybe they can access some of the leftover vaccine from the last swine flu pandemic?  Or the one before that?  Or the one before that?  Or the other one the swine selling this vaccine must be laughing all the way to the bank. 

    Eat garlic and take echinacea.  Practice save sneezing.  Stay away from swine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Both are wonderful and you can also add to your list BEROCCA. You can purchase it from the Pharmacy on Walkers Road or by Hurleys. We shouldnt expect any help from England when we are constantly on the radio cursing them. We have’nt seen anything yet, just wait until a bigger disaster comes by, we will only have Jamaica to call on.

  10. Anonymous says:

    If, as you read on many of the posts on this website, Caymanians really want to be independant, and are the superior race, they really believe themselves to be.

    Why does Mr Scotland, not engage his own scientists, to produce a vaccine for this virus?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not get the supply out of Canada.

      • Anonymous says:

        Canada would work. Whereever you get it, you can be sure there is no leading Caymanian scientist in a laboratory somewhere producing it.

        • Anonymous says:

          I am Canadian and when I worked on the island the local Camanians made my life hell telling me I was taking jobs away from them.  I say let them develop their own, the locals know so much, should only take them a week or so.  I would hate for the Canadian Government help out and then have the Cayman peole complain……………..we all remember what happened after Ivan.

          • Anonymous says:

            "There could be trouble ahead". I’m a Brit, and it seems the good old Caymanians, have managed to piss of the Canadians aswell. So it looks as if the Canadians wont be rushing there swine flu vaccines down to Cayman aswell.

            Mr. Scotland, looks as if, you better start recalling your top Caymanian scientists from around the world to develop a vaccine. Instead of your usual instinct and typical Caymanian trait, to sit there and whine, and expect someone else to do it for you!!!

            One day, not tomorrrow, not next week, not next year, but one day. Caymanians will understand there are benefits to globalisation, and will develop an understanding that outside the boundaries of their tiny island and economy, there is a far bigger world, that can provide benefits for them. They will also one day, treat their visiting workers, from the US, Canada and Europe and Jamaica, with the respect they deserve.


            • Anonymous says:

              I’m a Caymanian and I agree with you some of our caymanians head is too tough to understand that we can’t stand on our own and every country in the world depends on another country and that expats are also healping us but they fail to realize that, I hope someday they would understand.

            • Maurice says:

              Benefits to globalization? What benefits and for for whom? Globalization has wrecked economies worldwide and your casual mention of it indicates little true understanding of what it really means, so let’s summarize:

              Globalization is all about maximizing profits (for the banks and corporations who control the world) regardless of the social and environmental cost. This is achieved through manipulation by the powerful corporate interests using debt, bribery and political overthrow.

              Study the role of the Fed in the US and the IMF and World Bank on the world stage. It is a modern and ruthless clandestine empire building mechanism. Of course, the term has been hijacked and misrepresented to the extent that statements such as yours are all too common.

              Recommend you go to Google video and search for "zeitgeist adendum" and watch at least the first hour of the film – I guarantee it will change your views on so called "globalization" and you will realize that it is most certainly about as far from "good" as you can imagine and that you have been duped as to the origin and true nature of the word.

              Yes there is a far bigger world out there, but knowledge of that world is lacking in most of the people who live in it.

              • True says:

                There are plenty, I remember stories of old Cayman, having to walk a couple of miles to get fresh water, only eating meat once a year, having your husband home sporadically.

                Yet with Globalisation Cayman has one of the highest GDP per capita in world. Caymanians have flowing water in their homes and electicity and have a solid roof over their heads when a hurricane is coming. They can own their huge F140’s and mobile phones, etc, etc, etc.

                Or maybe the good old days were better when child mortality was 5 times higher and lfe expectancy was a lot shorter.

                You speak of Globalisation out to maximise profits, frankly this occured way before Globalisation. Feudalist systems produced serfs. Religions cashed in on the poor selling years in heaven, so Clergy could live the good life and the Church could become more powerful.

                Frankly Globalisation is not the problem just human greed

  11. Anonymous says:

    the UK intends to kill us one way or the other! This doesn’t surprise me. Remember Ivan, a few tarps and tetanus vaccines. Thank God the people of these islands have the resolve not to let those bastards break us.


    • Makam says:

      So why don’t we buy the vaccine from the U.S….perhaps use some of that 2.5 mil allocated for "Nation Building"

      Whoops that would be money not being spent of Mac’s cronies… bet they all got their Flu shots!