Welcome to the crisis website of the Public Entity Bonaire. This website is online when there is a crisis. That is why you can now find all information about COVID-19 on this website.

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Q&A’s vaccination

Last update: March 3rd, 2021

This information has been compiled by the Public Entity of Bonaire (OLB) in collaboration with the Public Health Department Bonaire and other organizations.

The list is continually updated. The developments surrounding COVID-19 are unpredictable; situations, rules and circumstances may change at any moment.

For the latest news please see the OLB press releases on its Facebook page.

If you have a question that is not yet included in the list, please e-mail it to info@bonairegov.com

No rights can be derived from the information on the Q&A list. 

Vaccine

What is a vaccine anyway?

A vaccine is a medicine that protects you against infectious diseases, such as measles, rubella, mumps, and also COVID-19. The vaccine ensures that you do not become very ill when you become infected with a virus. When you are inoculated or vaccinated, you receive an injection with the vaccine in your upper arm. You will get two injections, the second of which you will receive about a month after the first.

When you get the vaccine, your body will react by making antibodies. This is how you build resistance to the virus. Should you then become exposed to the virus your body will recognize it and will start producing antibodies more quickly. In this way there is only a small chance that you will become very ill.

Is there a risk of side effects from the vaccine?

With most vaccines people may experience side effects. This may include pain or a small red bump at the injection site. You may also experience fatigue, headache, muscle pain, an elevated temperature or chills. For most people the side effects go away within a few days after the inoculation.

If you are seriously ill, allergic to certain medicines or pregnant, please discuss this with your family doctor or the Public Health Department team in order to establish whether you should get vaccinated or not.

Which vaccines will Bonaire receive from the Netherlands?

Bonaire will receive the PfizerBioNTech vaccine from the Netherlands. This vaccine has been approved for the European market. If the AstraZeneca vaccine is also approved, Bonaire is expected to receive that vaccine as well. For further information about the coronavirus vaccines please visit: https://www.rivm.nl/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccines/questions-and-answers-corona-vaccine

Can I still get coronavirus after I have been vaccinated?

Yes, that is possible. The vaccination does work, but it takes a while for the body to produce antibodies against the coronavirus. One week after the second vaccination in excess of 90% of people are protected against the virus. The risk that you may get coronavirus after the second inoculation is small, but it is not zero. The risk that you may still get coronavirus after the first inoculation is greater. That is why it is important to get the second inoculation as well. If you have symptoms that may indicate coronavirus, it is always important to get tested.

If I want to travel and have already been vaccinated, do I still need to get tested?

Yes, you do. For the time being the same requirements apply to people who have been vaccinated as to those who have not been vaccinated. The reason for this is that it is not yet known whether someone who has been vaccinated can still spread the coronavirus.

Can you still transfer the virus to someone else after you have been vaccinated?

This is not known yet. As long as we do not know this, people who are vaccinated must continue to comply with the 1.5 meter rule.

If someone who has been vaccinated has a positive PCR test at a later date, could that be related to the vaccination?

No, the vaccination itself does not affect a PCR-test result or an antigen-test result. A vaccination does not leave any traces of the coronavirus in the body, so if someone receives a positive PCR-test result (i.e. is infected) that has nothing to do with the vaccination.

Does the vaccine still work with any new variants of the virus?

Yes it does. It is normal for a virus to change. This does not necessarily mean that the vaccine is no longer effective since only small changes to the virus occur. Many countries around the world are closely monitoring whether the vaccine protects against new variants of the virus. The current scientific information is that the vaccine does protect against known new variants of the virus.

Do I still have to adhere to the coronavirus measures after I have been vaccinated?

Yes you do. Everyone who has been vaccinated still has to adhere to the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The vaccination protects you so that you do not become seriously ill if you get coronavirus. Scientists do not yet know whether someone who has been vaccinated can still spread the virus. The risk that you will get coronavirus after two inoculations is very small, but not zero. Therefore, both vaccinated people and people who have not been vaccinated must adhere to the coronavirus measures.

If I decide to get vaccinated, may I choose which vaccine I get?

No, you may not. You do not have a choice.

Is the vaccination safe if I am pregnant?

Studies have not shown that a vaccination against coronavirus during pregnancy has any adverse consequences. However, because there is little information in this area, it is currently not recommended to be vaccinated whilst pregnant. It is recommended to have the vaccination after the pregnancy. Please discuss with your family doctor whether vaccination during your pregnancy is advisable or not.

How can I be sure that it is safe to get vaccinated?

Before a vaccine comes onto the market it is rigorously tested. A vaccine will only be introduced to the market if it is certain that it works well and it is safe. Vaccines are, therefore, first tested in extensive human trials before they are released to the market. This is done to ensure that a vaccine does not have any serious side effects. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) must approve vaccines before they are allowed on the European market. Bonaire will receive the PfizerBioNTech vaccine from the Netherlands.

If I have any side effects after the vaccination, where should I report this?

With most vaccines people may experience side effects. This may include pain or a small red bump at the injection site. You may also experience fatigue, headache, muscle pain, an elevated temperature or chills. For most people the side effects go away within a few days after the inoculation.
If you have any side effects that worry you, please report this to your family doctor as soon as possible.

In the Netherlands, all vaccine side effects are reported to and tracked by the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb. Bonaire residents may also report any side effects to Lareb. This is possible via: www.lareb.nl

Preparation

May people who are on the island temporarily also get vaccinated?

If you are on Bonaire for more than three months, you may register for vaccination. In fact, it is in the interest of everyone that as many people as possible are vaccinated. You must be on Bonaire when your age group is vaccinated so that the Public Health Department can make a vaccination appointment for you. Furthermore, after you have received your first inoculation, you must remain on Bonaire for another six weeks (max) in order to be able to receive the second inoculation.

Will there be enough vaccines for everyone on Bonaire?

Yes, the Public Health Department expects that 19,000 people will be vaccinated on Bonaire. The people who are not registered here and who are temporarily on the island have also been included in this number. The Public Health Department wants to vaccinate as many people as possible on Bonaire. In this way, the island will be better protected against the spread of the coronavirus.

Approach

When will vaccinations begin for the people on Bonaire and who will be the first to receive the vaccine?

On 16 February the first Pfizer vaccines arrived on Bonaire.
* This shipment of vaccines will enable the Public Health Department to administer the first inoculation against coronavirus to 2000 people.
* Commencing 22 February healthcare personnel will be inoculated against the coronavirus. This involves approximately 600 professionals who are in direct contact with patients.
* From 1 March onwards, people aged 60 and older will be inoculated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at the Jorge Nicolaas sports center in Playa. From 3 March onwards vaccination will also take place on Wednesdays at Fundashon Cocari in Rincon.
* The Pfizer vaccine works best after two inoculations. The time between the two inoculations will be at least three weeks.
* The Netherlands will send several shipments of Pfizer vaccines to Bonaire to enable the inoculation of the entire group of people aged 60 years and older. It is expected that all people aged 60 and over will have had their first and second inoculation by the beginning of May.
* Subsequently, people from 18 to 60 years will be inoculated. It is not yet known which vaccine Bonaire will receive from the Netherlands for this purpose.
* Vaccination against the coronavirus will take place in stages. To this end the Public Health Department works closely together with doctors’ practices and Fundashon Mariadal.

Where can I sign up to be vaccinated? And how does it work?

You may sign up for a vaccination by telephone or online.
* From 22 February onwards, people aged 60 years and older may register online at www.bonairecrisis.com, for an appointment to be vaccinated. Alternatively they may telephone 0800-0800, free of charge.
* If at all possible, the Public Health Department prefers people to register online.
* To register online go to the website www.bonairecrisis.com. There is a button with the text “Register COVID Vaccination”. Click on this button to open a registration form, which includes a health check.
* Once this form has been completed, the registration is finished.

*Our employees will then process the registration and you will receive an email notification of your appointments for the first and second inoculations within two working days. The time between the two inoculations will be at least three weeks.

* You cannot specify on which day you would prefer to get your inoculation.
* From 1 March onwards, people aged 60 years and older will be inoculated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at the Jorge Nicolaas sports center, Kaya Amsterdam in Playa.
* From 3 March onwards vaccination will also take place on Wednesdays at Fundashon Cocari in Rincon.
* The website will detail what you should bring with you to your vaccination appointment. You must bring a valid ID and the use of a face mask is mandatory

* Please read the information on the website carefully before coming to the vaccination location.
* The website is available 24 hours a day, so you may register when it suits you.

* Alternatively you may telephone the call center number 0800 0800, free of charge, to make an appointment. A health check will be done by telephone and an employee will then inform you of the appointment times for your first and second inoculations. The appointments will be confirmed by telephone or email. If you do not have an email address, you may provide the email address of a family member or acquaintance.
* The call center is open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. If you are unable to get through, please try again at a quieter time.

So, you may register by phone or online, but we prefer that you register online if at all possible.

* Based on the information provided in your health check you may be informed that you must first consult with your family doctor before you can get a vaccination appointment. In this case you may only make a vaccination appointment through the call center after consultation with the family doctor. The health check may also indicate that you will first need to pass by the attending physician at the vaccination site.

* It is important that everyone who has an appointment arrives at the vaccination location at the agreed time. Vaccines are scarce and expensive. If you do not keep your appointment, the Public Health Department may –consequently- not be able to get the optimal number of inoculations from every vial. That would be most unfortunate. If you really cannot keep your appointment, call 0800 – 0800 as soon as possible to notify the vaccination team.

When will the people in the age group 18 to 60 years be vaccinated? And how will that be publicized?

It is expected that we will commence vaccinating the 18 to 60-year-olds on Bonaire in early May 2021. When the time comes for the 18 to 60-year-olds to be vaccinated, it will be announced via the newspaper, radio, television and on social media. It will also be announced on this website. We do not know yet which vaccine this age group will receive.

If you register when it is not your age group’s turn, your application will not be processed. You will then be required to re-register at a later time, when your age group has been announced.

Will I have to pay for the coronavirus vaccination?

No, vaccination against the virus will be free of charge for everyone.

Who will administer the vaccinations on Bonaire?

Nurses and physician assistants will administer the vaccinations. There will always be a physician present to make sure everything is in order.

Will I receive a vaccination certificate after I have been inoculated?

After you have had the two injections you will receive a vaccination card. This card will contain your personal data, the dates you were vaccinated and the name of the vaccine. This card is yours to keep. If you have a yellow vaccination booklet the coronavirus vaccinations and any relevant data may be added there.

I am still not sure whether I want to get vaccinated. May I still register at a later time?

Yes, you may. You may always sign up for the free vaccination at a later time. If you are 60 years or older, then it is good to know that on Bonaire people who are 60 or older can now get vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. This vaccine is most effective for people aged 60 and over. However, it is unknown whether Bonaire will receive this vaccine again in the future.

Am I obliged to get vaccinated?

No, you are not obliged to get vaccinated. The Bonaire Public Health Department will provide information about the vaccine and the vaccination process. It will also explain what the impact would be for all of us should many people get vaccinated or if only a few choose to do so. You may then decide for yourself whether or not you choose to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Why should I get vaccinated?

If you get vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself against the coronavirus, but also your family, friends and colleagues, and any other people around you who may be vulnerable. Once people are vaccinated, the virus will no longer be able to spread unchecked. Fewer measures and rules will then be necessary to ensure that the virus is contained.

Why don't we only vaccinate the elderly and other vulnerable people? Then, surely, healthy people would not need a vaccination, would they?

It is true that the elderly and vulnerable people are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they get coronavirus, but healthy people of all ages can also get the virus. The greater the number of people who get vaccinated, the fewer serious COVID-19 cases we will have.

Will it still be possible for me to travel, and will I still have access to (public) places and buildings if I do not get vaccinated?

It is too soon to comment on this at the moment. However, you may be sure that the greater the number of people who get vaccinated, the greater the chance will become that people will be able to travel and to move around without restriction. It is up to you whether you get vaccinated or not. People who do not wish to be vaccinated will not be treated differently on Bonaire

I have already had COVID-19, should I still get vaccinated?

The Health Council of the Netherlands recommends that people who have had COVID-19 should also get vaccinated. This recommendation will also be followed on Bonaire.

May children also receive a vaccination?

Currently the vaccination is for adults only (18 years or older). More research is needed to establish how the vaccine works in children and whether it is safe for them as well. Additionally, children do not get very sick if they are infected so it is also less vital for them to be vaccinated immediately.