Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 20, 2021 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis will begin offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to the public on Wednesday, September 01, 2021.
The rollout date was shared by Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff of the Joseph N. France General Hospital, at Wednesday’s (August 18) COVID-19 briefing by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).
The first of three shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived on August 12. The donation by the United States government brought an initial batch of 11,700 doses. Dr. Wilkinson explained that health officials have been preparing to introduce the new vaccines to the successful Roll Up 2 Roll Out vaccination campaign.
“Nurses are currently undergoing training. They had two training courses with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and that is continuing,” he said.
Training is critical as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has different storage requirements compared to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has storage requirements of ultracold settings of minus 80 degrees, and minus 20 degrees before being placed in a regular refrigeration unit for administering to individuals. The Oxford-AstraZeneca however can be stored in a regular refrigerator.
Dr. Wilkinson said that it was important for health authorities to maintain due diligence in their duties.
“I believe that patience is a virtue and we want to make sure that when we start we’ll start correctly and we will make sure that our teenagers and above have the appropriate schedule etc,” he stated.
The jab will be available to anyone over the age of 12 years. There will be a three-week interval between the first and second shots.