Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 30, 2021 (SKNIS): As the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis continues the fight against the deadly COVID-19 virus, vaccination has been a key tool in protecting both citizens and residents alike. Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital (JNF) Dr. Cameron Wilkinson recently spoke to the effects of Myocarditis, learning to live with COVID-19 in the Federation, and the importance of teachers and students to be vaccinated for in-person classes to take place with minimum risks.
“Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart and Pericarditis is an inflammation of the surrounding of the heart. These can lead to severe inflammation of the heart muscles; one can have severe long-term complications or heart complications as a result of this and one can even die from Myocarditis. It is important for the general public to know that COVID-19 disease can give you Myocarditis; the incidence is 450 per one million. When persons get Myocarditis from COVID-19 it can be severe and it can lead to prolonged hospitalization; it can lead to long-term heart problems and it can lead to death. There is also a very small risk associated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and Myocarditis. That risk is less than one in a million, and usually, it is very mild and self-limiting and almost everyone that has reported these symptoms recover. So, we have been saying all along that we have to look at the benefits and risks, and the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risk,” said Dr. Wilkinson.
Vaccine hesitancy and a plethora of misinformation across society have hindered some persons from getting vaccinated. Dr. Wilkinson further encouraged persons to support vaccination, noting that it is fundamental for members of society to act in a responsible manner in an effort to protect each other.
“I want to encourage the 480 persons between the ages of 12 -17 in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to go out and get vaccinated. And I want to encourage the teachers who are looking after these children to go out and get vaccinated because we keep hearing about in-person learning and when we will get back to in-person learning. The answer again is right in our hands, if all these persons become vaccinated we will be able to have our high schools opened without any problems at all,” said the Medical Chief of Staff.
Dr. Wilkinson further asserted that the hope for the eradication of COVID-19 in St. Kitts and Nevis to a point of zero COVID-19 is not in sight right now, stressing that persons have to learn to live with COVID-19 but will only be able to do so once more persons are vaccinated against the deadly virus.