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Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 01, 2021 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis has given a higher percentage – more than 60 percent – of its population at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine more than other countries within the region.

“So far, more than 60 percent of the nation’s adults sent a strong message that they listened to the facts and believed in the science and went forward and got vaccinated. So far, more than 60 percent of the nation’s adults have decided not to wait for an alternative vaccine and took action now, not just to protect themselves but our children, our pregnant mothers and the unborn, and the elderly and frail,” said Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital during the Emergency NEOC COVID-19 Press Briefing on Tuesday, June 01. “So far more than 60 percent of our adults have rolled up their sleeves and taken the first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine and about a quarter are now fully vaccinated.”

Dr. Wilkinson applauded those who “understood that in a pandemic time wasted could result in lives lost.”  He noted that the Government’s robust education and awareness campaign helped paved the way to achieve the goal of reaching this far.

“There were some who held back because of genuine concerns, and we addressed these with our wide-reaching education programme on the vaccine. Many who were undecided came forward and are still coming forward knowing that the vaccine gives them a 63 to 83 percent protection from catching COVID even if they came in contact with someone with the disease, an 84 percent protection from getting severe disease requiring hospitalization, and a 100 percent protection from dying from COVID-19. 

Dr. Wilkinson noted that getting vaccinated remains a choice, however, urged all those who are not yet vaccinated to choose to get this protection. 

“I urge those who haven’t yet been vaccinated to go forward tomorrow and do so. I urge those who received their first shot more than 4 weeks ago, to go forward and get your second shot to be fully vaccinated,” he said. “Getting vaccinated is still a voluntary choice.  But with choices come consequences. By not getting vaccinated you can jeopardize the health of those around you, in your homes, schools, churches, and places of business. More importantly, you are jeopardizing your own life.”

He reiterated that the decision whether or not to get vaccinated has so far been left to the individual citizens but added that the vaccine is “our best shot at protecting ourselves.”

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