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, SAYS PRIME MINISTER HARRISBasseterre, St. Kitts, March 23, 2021 (SKNIS): The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is proven safe and effective after a recently concluded study and subsequent report in the United States, said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris during his monthly Press Conference on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Conference Room.

Prime Minister Harris made the statement in light of reports of blood clots in some persons who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there is no link between the vaccine shot and an increased risk of developing blood clots.

“AstraZeneca’s vaccine is very safe. About 500,000 doses of this vaccine were made available to the region,” said Prime Minister Harris.

Prime Minister Harris touched briefly on a study that was conducted recently indicating that the vaccine is safe and effective.

“Just yesterday, data was released from a long-awaited USA-based safety study of the AstraZeneca Vaccine.  The study confirmed that there is no evidence of increased risk of thromboembolic (blood clotting) events or rare blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. This is helpful news,” he said. “Additionally, the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization, both have reported that the AstraZeneca vaccine is very safe and has been effective so far. Our own health experts have assured us that the vaccine is very safe. The vaccine that we are using has passed multilayered evaluation by expert panels before it was granted emergency use approval by the prestigious World Health Organization.” 

Dr. Harris said that the early actions taken proved effective in controlling the spread of the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), adding that the government will continue to work to ensure that such practice remains effective.

“Our early actions helped contain transmission of the virus and kept the people of St. Kitts and Nevis safe.  We will continue to explore all avenues to secure additional vaccines through the COVAX Facility and through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms. Our Ministry of Health continues to provide guidance on the procurement of vaccines,” he said.

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