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Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 03, 2021 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis is gearing up to roll out its National Vaccine Deployment and Implementation Plan as 21,600 COVID-19 vaccines are expected in the next month or two.

The vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will be made available through the COVID-19 Global Access (COVAX) Facility.  

On Tuesday’s (February 02, 2021) edition of Leadership Matters, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws said that the demand for a jab far exceeds the expected supply. As such, health authorities will rely on the established Plan to inform who will receive a vaccine in this initial phase.

Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff of the Joseph N. France General Hospital, added that recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) will also be considered as the various groups and individuals are identified.

“The recommendation is that persons at risk be vaccinated first, so the frontline healthcare workers are the ones who are usually first, and then the vulnerable, persons who are in nursing homes who may succumb from the disease,” he stated.

Dr. Laws noted that vulnerable persons include individuals suffering from multiple morbidities and other chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Persons with compromised immune systems are also a priority.

The CMO indicated that vaccinations would likely not be mandatory. However, public education campaigns and other interventions will be employed to ensure that the public has all of the relevant information to make an informed decision about receiving a vaccine.

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