Vaccination against Covid-19 will stop emergence of new variants, advises PM Harris

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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, April 24, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — As the Covid-19 vaccination rollout continues, Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris is appealing to concerned individuals to urge persons to come forward to be vaccinated noting that the longer people take to get vaccinated gives the virus the opportunity to take on a new variant.

“It is critically important that each one of us should urge as many persons to come forward,” said Prime Minister Harris on Saturday April 24 at the Sylvia Garnette Primary Health Care Facility in Tabernacle where he was encouraging persons to turn up for vaccination. “We are seeing around the world, rather than diminishing, instances where the virus is taking hold in a much more serious and significant way.”

According to Dr Harris, who is also the Area Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Seven (Bellevue to Ottley’s), Covid-19 continues to present significant threat as in Japan this week Tokyo started a fourteen-day lockdown, and in other parts of Europe they are fighting the third wave. Closer to home, in Brazil, he observed that they are having significant deaths in many places showing that the threat is far from going away.

“Why we need some urgency too, is that the longer people take to get vaccinated it gives the virus the opportunity to take on a new variant and yet from the research, so far, it is more deadly, much more transmissible and we want in St. Kitts and Nevis just to contend with the variant we now have,” pointed out the Honourable Prime Minister. “To add more will add a new dilemma for our health situation.”

The Sylvia Garnette Primary Health Care Facility in Tabernacle is one of the four health centres on St. Kitts that is offering Covid-19 vaccination services on a Saturday to accommodate persons who would not normally get time to be vaccinated during the week. The others are Basseterre, New Town, and St. Paul’s Health Centres.

“Today was one of the more productive days in that within the short period we were able to have 23 coming to be vaccinated,” said Prime Minister Harris. “So I am very pleased as the Member of Parliament who have assisted them in getting there and to help push the country closer to the target we have set – 70 per cent of the population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.”

Coming out for vaccinations included officers from the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services based at the Tabernacle Police Station, who were led by Fire Sub Officer Davron Clarke who is in charge of the Tabernacle Fire Station and the Sandy Point Fire Station.

With him were Fire Officer Rasheed Stapleton, Volunteer Fire Officer Dion Dolphin, Fire Officer Jamal Duncan, and Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) intern Kezron Kelly who is attached to the Fire Department.

The vaccination session was facilitated by Nurse Paula Boddie who was assisted by Nurse Shirmel Welcome. Also of note, among those taking the vaccination, was 18-year old Fourth Form student of the Washington Archibald High School, Mr Diquan Davis, who said that he took the decision to get vaccinated as he had attained the minimum age. A nephew of Prime Minister Harris, Mr Miguel Maynard, thanked his uncle for encouraging him to take the vaccine.  

“As the Representative I consider it an opportunity for service to reach out to the constituents daily and to utilise my Saturday morning to get as many people to the vaccination centre, here at the Sylvia Garnette Primary Health Care Facility,” said Prime Minister Harris.

He added: “This morning was better than last week when we had eighteen; was better than the week before when we had twelve. So we are having an increase in turnout. Next week we certainly will aim to do better than this week as the pattern over the last three weeks is that there is improvement every week.”

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