Dr. Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer of St. Kitts and Nevis.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Choosing to take the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine is choosing to protect oneself and others from the deadly COVID-19 virus, according to Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Hazel Laws.

Dr. Laws explained this during her presentation at the National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Press Briefing on February 17 at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Headquarters at Lime Kiln.

She revealed her decision to take the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, which is already in the Federation. Her decision to take the vaccine is because it minimizes her risk of becoming severely ill or dying.

“If I were to contract the disease, one of five things can happen to me,” said Dr. Laws. “I can recover without any symptoms; or I may develop mild symptoms via cough, runny nose, stuffiness and then recover; I can become moderately ill and recover, or I can become severely ill or die.

“If I decide to take the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, the scientists and the clinical data assure me that I will be protected from severe illness and death from COVID.

“Even when we vaccinate our people, we are going to have to continue adhering to the public health measures of wearing our face mask, maintaining adequate hand hygiene, and maintaining a safe distance from others when in public,” said Dr. Laws.

“We will have to continue these essential public health options until a significant proportion of our population has developed immunity against this virus, and until a significant proportion of our population has received the vaccine,” she concluded.