Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 18, 2021 (SKNIS): During the August 17, 2021 edition of ‘Leadership Matters’ hosted by Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education, Mr. William Vincent Hodge outlined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the school system and encouraged more persons to get vaccinated.
“Our children and young people are affected. Of the 558 cases in the outbreak from May 19 to August 3, 113 of the 558 cases were children. 11.2 percent of the total cases were children ages 0 to 9 and 12.6 percent of the total cases were between the ages 10 to 19 years. 31 of this number were secondary and tertiary level students who could not write their CSEC and CAPE exams in July/August because either they or someone in the household contracted the virus and had to be in isolation or quarantine. This has been a tremendous setback for our students who now have to wait until January or June 2022 to write their exams. As we are all aware, a number of students at the primary and secondary levels have been stricken by the virus resulting in our schools coming to a screeching halt,” said Permanent Secretary Hodge.
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is beginning to see an uptick in positive cases after a drastic decline in the number of active cases over recent weeks as the ongoing vaccination efforts continue. Permanent Secretary Hodge urged all adults to get vaccinated and also announced that many school children will now have access to COVID-19 vaccines which would afford them their own layer of protection to fight the virus.
“In our beloved Federation, we have gone beyond measure to encourage our adults, parents, guardians, teachers, men, and women who work with children to get vaccinated. That encouragement continues. At this juncture, I am happy and I commend the government for securing the Pfizer vaccine that can be administered to children and youth 12 to 18 years old. Shortly, the Ministry of Health will partner with the Ministry of Education to roll out the administration of the Pfizer vaccine. We make the appeal for teachers and parents to support this process. Children younger than 12 years at this point cannot be vaccinated and will continue to depend on their parents, guardians, and teachers for protection,” said Permanent Secretary Hodge.
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis received an initial donation of 11,700 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from President Joe Biden and the Government and people of the United States on August 12, 2021. These vaccines are proven to be effective in children and youth between the ages of 12 to 18 years old.