COVID-19 claimed another life in Guam, with its death toll now reaching 80, after a 63-year-old male who had underlying health conditions that were impacted by COVID-19 died last Nov. 2.
According to the Joint Information Center yesterday, Guam’s 80th COVID-19-related fatality was pronounced dead on arrival at Guam Memorial Hospital at approximately 9:40pm last Monday. JIC reported that the latest victim was a known COVID-19 case and was previously admitted to the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.
Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero offered her “sincerest sympathies and condolences” to his family, adding that time won’t help with mourning and losing a loved one. Leon Guerrero added that the island can honor the life of the victim by putting the health of the community before themselves.
“Each of us are soldiers in this fight, and victory requires us all to remain vigilant. We are the frontlines, and I call on the people of Guam to do what is right,” said Leon Guerrero. “May his memory be a blessing to all those who knew him.”
COVID-19 on Saipan
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified public health officials in all 50 states and five large cities, to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to health workers and other high-risk groups at the end of this year or early next year.
Esther Muña, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer, declined to comment on this, though. When asked if there was an expected roll-out date for vaccinations in the CNMI, she said, “We don’t want to say.”
According to multiple media outlets, pushing out a COVID-19 vaccination in six months is considered “phenomenal” because it usually takes years to develop a vaccine.
“In the past, vaccines have been developed through a series of steps that can take many years. Now, given the urgent need for a COVID-19 vaccine, unprecedented financial investments and scientific collaborations are changing how vaccines are developed. This means that some steps in the research and development process are happening in parallel, while still maintaining strict clinical and safety standards,” said the World Health Organization’s website.
WHO also stated that some clinical trials are evaluating multiple vaccines at the same time but this does not make the studies any less rigorous. The WHO is one of the leaders (with Gavi and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) in a global effort known as COVAX that is speeding up the search for safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines by pooling the resources of many countries.