BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, February 14, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is a signatory to the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) which ensures vaccination of 20 percent of the population, but the Dr Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government has plans to have over 70 percent of the population immunised against the virus.
“Many of you have paid a great price through loss of jobs and decreased income, but I assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” assured Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris when he updated the Nation on the effectiveness of his Government’s strategy to defeat Covid-19, in a national address aired on ZIZ TV and carried live by local radio stations and social media platforms on Saturday evening February 13.
The Honourable Prime Minister thanked the citizens and residents of the Federation for embracing the all-of-society approach and for their cooperation and compliance in the fight against Covid-19 and advised them that they have reached too far to give up now. He urged all to continue the fight, have faith, and finish the race together as one Nation.
“While the COVAX facility to which we are signatory ensures vaccination of 20 percent of the population, my Government plans to source vaccines through other avenues to have more than 70 percent of our population immunised against this virus thereby achieving herd immunity,” Dr Harris, who also has lead responsibility for Human Resource Development, Health and HIV/AIDS issues in the CARICOM’s quasi-cabinet, announced.
COVAX is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, the World Health Organisation, and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation among others.
“I am certain that we will be successful in running this last leg of the race against Covid-19 and see our Nation return to some sense of normalcy in the near future and the return of more economic activity,” stated Prime Minister Harris. “We have been successful so far to strike that delicate balance between saving lives and preserving livelihoods. We are now pivoting to getting everyone back to work, but this must be done in a careful and safe manner.”
The Prime Minister announced that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis had this week received 2,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine courtesy of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, and had received confirmation from the Director of the COVAX Office that the country is set to receive 21,600 doses of the vaccine by the end of this month.
The Republic of China on Taiwan, Prime Minister Harris further revealed, has pledged $600,000.00 to procure extra vaccines, while further assistance in the form of vaccines donations is also expected from the Government of India and other allies. According to the Honourable Prime Minister, the additional donations from multiple sources will enhance Government’s ability to roll out its mass vaccination programme.
“My Government will continue to support the Covid-19 National Task Force and our capable team of healthcare professionals, as we move forward with our country’s plan in managing this pandemic,” assured Dr Harris. “Our security forces will remain even vigilant in ensuring that the highest standards of compliance with Covid-19 protocols are maintained.”