Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 16, 2021 (SKNIS): As vaccination efforts ramp up across the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Hazel Laws, during the June 15, 2021 edition of “Leadership Matters” called on persons practicing vaccine hesitancy to get vaccinated at the soonest. The CMO stated that although a large portion of the adult population has already been vaccinated, the unvaccinated adults still pose a real and present danger.
“When you have accepted the vaccine and you have two doses onboard, then you are deemed fully vaccinated, which simply means two weeks have elapsed between your last dose and exposure. There is a small risk of you still becoming infected as what we refer to as a breakthrough infection. What the vaccine does is that it provides you with an 83 percent protection from COVID-19, so there is still a small chance you can pick up the virus,” said CMO Dr. Laws.
To date, the Federation currently has 180 active cases of the COVID-19 virus. CMO Dr. Laws further stated that a special team has been organized by the Ministry of Health to verify the vaccination status of the current 180 positive COVID-19 cases across the Federation.
“The virus has taken root in our communities and because of that, we are seeing it spreading and a gradual rise in the positivity rate. Because of the rise in cases, we had to deploy this public health measure of a partial lockdown or a strict restriction of movement with the aim of breaking the chain of transmission of the virus. It is an effort to save lives and livelihood; we do not want persons to see this as punishment. If we pause and shelter in place, we can break the chains of transmission and work on getting back to life how we know it,” said CMO Dr. Laws.
CMO Laws further stated that as of June 15, 2021, 66 percent of the adult population across the Federation have received at least one dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, with 31 percent being fully vaccinated. The Ministry of Health has also indicated that community health centers will remain open from Monday – Saturday from the hours of 8:00 am-4:00 pm for persons- to get vaccinated.