BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Police Officers are better informed about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine now that The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) has completed sensitisation sessions in all three districts.
The RSCNPF collaborated with the Ministry of Health for the activities, which took place this week. The session for District “A” was held at the National Emergency Management Agency Headquarters. Dr. Cuthbert Sebastian and Dr. Mathias Ofre were the presenters at that event. Dr. Sebastian was also a presenter at the session held at the Dieppe Bay Police Station for District “B,” along with Dr. Dwayne Archibald.
In Nevis, the session was facilitated by Chair of the Nevis COVID-19 Task Force and Medical Officer of Health on the island, Dr. Judy Nisbett. It took place at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre as the participants were drawn from not only the Police Force, but also the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, the Immigration Department and the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services.
Dr. Sebastian said he was pleased with the activity and the level of questions asked by the Officers.
“It was really interactive,” explained Dr. Sebastian. “People were asking questions. They were engaged. They were passionate, honestly, I believe that is how you have a really open and honest discussion, and then, that is how you really learn, when you have an active discussion. Not just I giving out information, but you asking questions, and I am answering you, they asked me tough questions and I really enjoyed that.”
The presentations covered several topics including the difference between ‘efficacy’ and ‘effectiveness,’ how vaccines work, and the various COVID-19 vaccines currently on the market, with a special focus on the AstraZeneca Vaccine being administered in the Federation.
“I think we tackled most of the concerns and the fears about this vaccine, including the long-term complications; will this vaccine last? Will we have to take another vaccine? We tackled that…a lot of people came up to me afterwards and they said they were more enthusiastic because they learned a lot of things that they never knew before and they’re much more inclined to take the vaccine.”
Most importantly, Dr. Sebastian made a strong case as to why Police Officers, as frontline workers should be vaccinated.
“Well the reason why Police Officers should get the vaccine is because they interact with people daily…close and personal. It is honestly hard to social distance when you are a police officer. It is practically impossible. So they’re definitely one of the frontline members of society when it comes to dealing with this COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s why I recommend that they get the vaccine, because they will be one of the high-risk groups involved,” he urged.
Several Officers have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, including members of the High Command, and many others are scheduled to be vaccinated during the coming days.