POND ISLAND: St. Maarten, the Dutch side of the island, is experiencing the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has recorded three deaths related to the virus in the past week and has seen four people hospitalized with severe symptoms.
This wave is driven by the UK variant that “is spreading at a rapid rate,” said Public Health Minister Omar Ottley in an urgent message with the goal of upping vaccination rates.
“We are officially in our third wave … We are in a state of emergency when it comes to the pandemic,” said Ottley.
“St. Maarten is seeing the UK variant … We urge the public to get vaccinated. We have one of the best vaccines in the Pfizer vaccine. This offers 95 per cent protection against the COVID-19 variants,” Ottley said.
Some people who had COVID-19 may want to shy away from getting vaccinated. Tackling that, Ottley said: “The vaccine offers a buffer, a cushion, between the receptors and the virus so being vaccinated along with having COVID-19 before increases the antibodies.”
The vaccine is free of cost at Belair Community Centre and CPS in the Vineyard Office Park Monday to Friday.