With the first batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines already in the Federation courtesy of the Commonwealth of Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis will be expecting to receive more from the Indian government later this month before its share from COVAX.
Saturday, in an address to the nation, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr Timothy Harris confirmed that the Federation received 2,000 doses of vaccine last week, courtesy of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.
“Our first batch of vaccines has arrived in the Federation and will soon be in the arms of our frontline workers and other priority groups as determined by our healthcare professionals.”
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from Dominica arrived in the Federation late last week via Regional Security System Aircraft that also made similar trips to Antigua and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, India on February 8, dispatched two separate shipments of domestically manufactured vaccines to Barbados and Dominica. The COVID-19 vials, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
Last week, the Governments of Barbados and Dominica received 100,000 and 70,000 vaccine doses from India with both jurisdictions promising to share with Caribbean counterparts.
PM Harris on Saturday said that they were also seeking vaccine assistance from India and other allies while the Republic of China (Taiwan) has pledged $600,000.00 to procure extra vaccines.
However, other Caribbean territories stand to benefit from the agreement with the Indian government who are expected to distribute 350,000 doses to the remaining Caribbean territories. St. Kitts and Nevis according to reports stand to benefit from around 20,000 of those vaccines.
He added that the Director of the COVAX Office confirmed that the Federation is set to receive 21,600 doses of vaccine by the end of this month under that facility.
He said that health officials in St. Kitts and Nevis aim to achieve herd immunity in the Federation by having more than 70% of the population immunized against the virus.
“I am certain that we will be successful in running this last leg of the race against COVID-19 and see our Nation return to some sense of normalcy in the near future and the return of more economic activity. We have been successful so far to strike a delicate balance between saving lives and preserving livelihoods. We are now pivoting to getting everyone back to work, but this must be done in a careful and safe manner.”