Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, left, accepts a box containing the COVID-19 vaccines from His Excellency Dr. K. J. Srinivasa, High Commissioner of the Republic of India accredited to St. Kitts and Nevis.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Now that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has secured an additional 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine from the Government of the Republic of India, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris is urging even more citizens and residents to step forward and accept the vaccination jab.

The vaccines arrived via the RSS aircraft earlier on March 1, and were handed over to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis by His Excellency Dr. K. J. Srinivasa, High Commissioner of the Republic of India accredited to the Federation.

“To my fellow citizens and residents, I say it is now up to you to play your part in striking the final blows against COVID-19,” said Hon. Harris. “You can play an effective part by being vaccinated. Already, more than 600 plus of our citizens and residents have had their first vaccination shots, including Government and key frontline workers. This is a good start to be sure, but we need many more people to come forward,” Prime Minister Harris said during the handing over ceremony held at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.

Monday’s ceremony was attended by Cabinet ministers, members of the National COVID-19 Task Force, health and tourism officials, and representatives of the media.

Prime Minister Harris said that through this generous donation, St. Kitts and Nevis now has a chance to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the rear view mirror.

“Let us not wait any longer for we now have 20,000 doses available,” said Dr. Harris. “The message then is quite simple, ‘Don’t wait, vaccinate.’ Don’t wait to protect your loved ones, vaccinate. Don’t wait to get our economy fully operational again, vaccinate. Don’t wait to get back to your way of life. vaccinate. Don’t wait to protect your family. vaccinate. Don’t wait to protect your health, vaccinate. Don’t wait any longer for COVID-19 to go away, the answer is to vaccinate.”

Prime Minister Harris used his own personal experience, as one of the first persons in St. Kitts and Nevis to take the vaccine jab, to dismiss the concerns of some members of society.

“I had the vaccine last Monday, February 22, so have several other members of the Cabinet of St. Kitts and Nevis and I feel fine,” said Dr. Harris. “So fine that last Monday and everyday thereafter I worked late every night after taking the vaccine and I continued my very busy schedule of activities.”

Vaccinations are now being administered at the Newtown, Basseterre, Sandy Point, and Tabernacle Health Centres in St. Kitts; and the Charlestown, Gingerland, and Combermere Health Centres in Nevis.

According to Prime Minister Harris, with the arrival of the 20,000 doses of vaccine, the Government intends to expand the number of centres to which persons can go to get vaccinated.