Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 28, 2021 (SKNIS): During his monthly press conference held at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Conference Room on September 28, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris stressed the importance for more persons to get vaccinated as the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis will, at some point, be required to open up fully and return to normal operations.
“We cannot forever remain in a semi-bubble. This country has to open up fully at some point to business, to students, to tourists, to investors. Tourists will again walk our shores. Ironically, the greatest threat of COVID-19 infection comes not from in-coming travelers, but the persons closest to us: our family members, our friends; our colleagues and indeed those with whom we work,” said Prime Minister Harris. “These are the people around whom we often fail to wear our masks or we wear them inappropriately. These are the people among whom we do not often hand sanitize nor do or practice social and physical distancing. And it is for these reasons, it is to them that we owe, and hold that sense of responsibility to protect them and indeed to protect ourselves.”
Dr. Harris said that vaccination is the most effective tool available to prevent a widespread resurgence of COVID-19 in communities.
“Vaccination is the best protection for us and it is the best manifestation of that responsibility and commitment. So again, I urge everyone to get vaccinated urgently. Two COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis – Pfizer/BioNTech and the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine. The health centers are now accepting walk-ins for either of these vaccines,” said the prime minister. “So, if you are awaiting your second dose of the AstraZeneca you can now do so… any day of the workweek. And similarly, if your preference is for Pfizer, you can now go to any of your 11 health centers in St. Kitts and six (6) on Nevis,” he added.
Prime Minister Harris reiterated and reemphasized the critical need for all citizens and residents to become fully engaged in this fight against COVID-19.
“It is no exaggeration to say that we are indeed literally in a fight for our lives and livelihoods. The increasing number of deaths around the world should be a reminder to us that COVID-19 kills and we should protect ourselves. The most critical tool in this regard is for each of us to get vaccinated now. Individuals who are vaccinated are unlikely to suffer the worst effects of COVID-19,” he said. “My government has sought to give our people every tool and every advantage. It becomes the responsibility of every citizen and resident now, to use them at every opportunity. We have been and are in a privileged position in St. Kitts and Nevis, to not only have a choice of safe vaccines, but sufficient quantities to inoculate everyone 12 years and over.”
As of Tuesday, September 28, 22, 137 persons or 66.7 percent of the target adult population were fully vaccinated, while 75.6 percent would have been administered with just one dose. Additionally. 7.6 percent of children within the age range of 12-17 years have already received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.