Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 12, 2021 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis is drawing closer to achieving herd immunity against the COVID-19 virus, which is a testament to the success of the government’s Roll Up 2 Roll Out vaccination campaign launched in late February 2021.
At the close of business day on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, a total of 44,067 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered in the twin-island Federation. A breakdown of the figure indicates that 33,908 doses have been administered in St. Kitts and 10,159 doses in Nevis. Of those numbers, 20,059 persons received a second jab of the vaccine. This means that more than 60 percent of the target adult population of 33,037 are fully vaccinated while more than 70 percent have had the first dose.
That leaves a minimum of approximately 9,000 adults who need to be vaccinated Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, said at Wednesday’s briefing by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). She said that persons who received the first jab in early or mid-June are now eligible for a second dose and should step forward to complete the process to ensure a higher efficacy rate of protection from the deadly virus.
Medical Chief of Staff of the Joseph N. France General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, said that the concept of herd immunity is changing given that science has proven that vaccinated persons can still transmit the virus. The addition of more transmissible variants is also a concern for health authorities locally and globally as COVID-19 infections continue to rise around the world.
“Most persons are looking to see if they can get as many persons who can be vaccinated, vaccinated and that [herd immunity] thresh hold can be up to 90 percent,” Dr. Wilkinson stated at the briefing.
“I’m happy that we have had 70 percent of our adults with one shot and hopefully we will be able to reach 70 percent who are fully vaccinated.”
On Thursday, August 12, 2021, St. Kitts and Nevis received 11,700 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, the first of three tranches The life-saving tools were donated by the Government of the United States. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are approved for use in children above the age of 12 years and are now factored into the government’s immunization strategy.
“We’ll be starting vaccinating children between the age of 12 to 18 years pretty soon and so with a significant proportion of the population vaccinated – without speaking about herd immunity – we should be safe,” Dr. Wilkinson said.
Further details on this new vaccination phase will be shared shortly.