BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, February 22, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris rolled up his sleeve today (Monday, February 22) as he accepted the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine against the deadly Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), thereby setting a strong example for all citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis to follow.
The first batch of vaccines was administered during a brief ceremony held as part of the Government’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout and Awareness Campaign Launch. The event, held at the Newtown Health Center, was carried live on ZIZ TV and social media.
Prime Minister Harris was the second recipient of the COVID-19 vaccine jab. The first jab was received by the Medical Chief of Staff of the JNF General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson.
While delivering brief remarks, Prime Minister Harris said that St. Kitts and Nevis has managed the COVID-19 pandemic remarkably well, adding that he is particularly pleased the Federation has now reached the stage of vaccination without recording a single death or major hospitalization as a result of the deadly disease.
“We are now at a watershed moment – the moment of vaccination. We had always hoped that we would be able to begin our vaccination programme before there was any hint of community spread in our Federation. Thank God for He has brought us this far and we are able to accomplish this goal,” the prime minister said.
Other ministers of the Federal Cabinet, including Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Shawn Richards and Minister of Health et al, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett were among the more than 50 persons to take the COVID-19 vaccine today.
Prime Minister Harris said it was important for them as leaders of Government to be among the first to accept the vaccine.
“The Cabinet has come today to be part of the initial rollout because leadership matters and in this particular case, particularly in the context of disinformation with respect to vaccines, we want to signal to our people that it is safe and the results so far have been efficacious,” Dr. Harris said.
Along with frontline workers, the vaccine was also presented to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hilroy Brandy, and members of the National COVID-19 Taskforce.