Now that Cayman’s first batch of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are now on island, Cayman Islands Football Association President Alfredo Whittaker is aiming to get the national men’s football team on the list to receive the shot.
“As the president obviously, I would like for all of our players and coaches to get vaccinated,” said Whittaker. “So the hope is that this would be possible.”
9,750 doses of the vaccine arrived on island Tuesday (5 January) afternoon with the vaccination process set to kickoff as soon as Thursday (7 January) according to Premier Alden McLaughlin.
The Premier stated outside the Owen Roberts International Airport on Tuesday that he, Governor Martyn Roper and Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee will take the inaugural jabs publicly at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
“I am hopeful that by the end of March we would have been able to immunise enough of our residents that Cayman can resume an even greater sense of normalcy, to be able to travel much more freely, to allow people into our country without so much trepidation,” said McLaughlin.
The Premier suggested date aligns itself with the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers‘ schedule, which the Cayman Islands is set to kickoff Group B in an away match against Suriname.
“Our plans is definitely to speak with the Minister of Health (Dwayne Seymour) and Dr. Lee to expressed the situation with our national team, especially our senior men that is due to travel the first week in March,” said Whittaker.
Government will focus the first batch of vaccines to persons aged 70 and over, healthcare workers and other high-risk frontline staff such as airport employees.
“I’m pretty sure there is some priorities that government has already established but I expect to have a meeting with the Minister of Health on Friday,” said Whittaker.
Following their game against Suriname, Cayman will host Canada on Sunday, 28 March and then Aruba on Wednesday, 2 June. Then the national ballers will take another trip to play Bermuda on Tuesday, 8 June to close the first round of qualifying for the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football.