BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, August 22, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has an upward society approach in its attempt to move forward to a stronger and safer future, but according to Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris one of the most difficult challenges continues to be the Covid-19 pandemic and he is calling on people to continue to be united as they fight the challenge.

Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris pictured with members who had accompanied him to the Tabernacle Methodist Church for the morning worship service on Sunday August 22.

“Truth be told that all over the world there is a common goal to defeat Covid-19,” said Prime Minister Harris. “All over the world people have recognised that the only way out is for their country – their people – to receive the highest level of vaccination, thereby minimise the adverse impact of Covid-19 on their lives.”

Prime Minister Harris made the remarks on Sunday August 22 as he addressed the congregation at the Tabernacle Methodist Church, where he and members of Constituency Number Seven Women Group led by its President Mrs Sonia Henry had attended the morning worship service.

“In our own management of the Covid-19, I have said and we have said, our priority is to save lives,” said the Honourable Prime Minister. “And when we have to make the balance between a business and someone’s life, we have to choose life first because life is precious, and life is a gift from God.”

That philosophy has helped the government of St. Kitts and Nevis to do the right thing noting that when some people are only concerned about businesses, the government has to be concerned about everybody and all entities – the health system, the businesses, the poor, and the vulnerable.

He pointed out that the government had heard that some people wanted to have another option in the vaccines, as initially only the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was available. He however informed the congregation that St. Kitts and Nevis was among the first six countries in the Caribbean to have been able to get the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, whose rollout will be from September 1.

“The importance of this is that whereas the AstraZeneca vaccine was not being recommended for persons below 18, this one is being recommended for persons who are 12 years and over,” said Dr Harris. “Twelve years and over – all the way to the oldest age is recommended.”

With the availability of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine which would allow every adult, and every young person, to get their own protection and there will be no need to depend on the mother and the father to protect the children, and the country will be in a better place to withstand the most dangerous impact of the virus.

“We are not forcing anyone to take it, but we strongly encourage everyone to take it, and that is why we gave an example,” said Prime Minister Harris. “The Cabinet was among the first to have taken the AstraZeneca vaccine, demonstrating that it is safe for us, and since we are not suicidal, attempting to kill ourselves, we will not take a vaccine knowing that it is dangerous, so you could have confidence in it. You could have confidence with the fact that 95 percent of all the doctors in the country have taken the vaccine. So it is safe and it will offer some protection.”

Making request of persons to remain steadfast in prayer and supplication, Dr Harris observed that St. Kitts and Nevis is fortunate among all the places in the Caribbean, as it has the best vaccination programme so far but noted that people can’t afford to become complacent. In this particular endeavour, the Prime Minister asked people to keep encouraging their friends, and their neighbours, to do the right thing.

“So when September comes, all of you with children 12 years and over please get them in the line first to get vaccinated,” he advised. “Those of you who are not vaccinated they can call any of the eleven health centres in St. Kitts now to get their appointment date.”

St. Kitts Methodist Church Circuit Lay Preacher Sister Liane Irish-Wade (right), Contact Steward Sister Icilma Springer (top left), and Congregational Steward Sister Tyrona Bergan (bottom left).

The Honourable Prime Minister informed the congregation that they had come to church as a group to celebrate with two of the members, Ms Doreen Stapleton of Tabernacle, and a member of the local Methodist Church whose birthday will be on Thursday August 26, and Mr Vincent ‘Tokey’ Matthew of Mansion whose birthday was on Sunday August 22.

The worship service, held on the Thirteenth Lord’s Day after Pentecost, was under the theme ‘Ready for Battle’ and the sermon was delivered by St. Kitts Methodist Church Circuit Lay Preacher Sister Liane Irish-Wade. Reading from the scriptures was Contact Steward Sister Icilma Springer, while welcoming the worshippers and notably Prime Minister Harris was Congregational Steward Sister Tyrona Bergan.