Dr. Delores Stapleton Harris, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — St. Kitts and Nevis is now offering the Oxford University/AstraZeneca Vaccine at the Newtown, Basseterre, Tabernacle, Sandy Point, Old Road, St. Paul’s, and Cayon Health Centres at 1:00 p.m. daily from Monday to Friday.

Dr. Stapleton Harris, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, said that the 1:00 p.m. daily vaccination is a strategy to ensure that all public health services are provided during the morning period and there is focus on the COVID-19 administration during the afternoon.

“The ministry is encouraging persons who are interested in the vaccination to go to the nearest health centre and make an appointment for the vaccine,” said Dr. Harris. “By next week, the ministry will be building out the vaccination at all 11 health centres in St. Kitts.

“Just walk in, be vaccinated, or make an appointment to do so,” she said. “I remind you that the vaccine is free of cost.”

Dr. Harris said that people are expected to complete a checklist prior to receiving the vaccine to ensure that they are suitable for it and to provide data for tracking the vaccination administration.

“Medical practitioners will administer the Oxford University/AstraZeneca Vaccine by an injection of 0.5 mls into the deltoid muscle of the upper arm in two doses,” said Dr. Harris. “The second dose is given 10 weeks later. It is important to return for the second dose to complete the vaccination process.

“The vaccine will not be given if the person is allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine,” said Dr. Harris. “Like any other drug, a history of allergic reactions to any other vaccine or therapies must be reported to the health care provider. Pregnant women and lactating moms are excluded from taking the vaccine.

“After the vaccination is received, recipients are asked to wait 15 minutes to monitor for the occurrence of any immediate adverse reactions,” she said. “A vaccination record card or certificate will be stamped and issued to the person, and should be secured safely by the individual.

“When people receive the vaccine, people will be told about possible side effects to look for. A contact number will be provided to call and report side effects as they occur,” concluded Dr. Harris. “The process is seamless. All relevant logistics and storage chains are in place for the vaccine as well as an established mechanism to track and trace all doses of the vaccine as they move through the system.”