Vaccine is our most powerful protection – we should not take it for granted, advises PM Harris

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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, May 30, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris on Saturday May 29 commended persons who turned out for the vaccination session at the Sylvia Garnette Primary Health Care Facility in Tabernacle, while at the same time advising that the vaccine being offered is the country’s most powerful protection against Covid-19 and that people should not take it for granted.

Prime Minister Harris, who is also the Area Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Seven (Bellevue to Ottley’s), has been turning up at the healthcare facility in Tabernacle on Saturdays to encourage and give support to persons who come to take the vaccine.

“I want to commend the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis for doing the right thing; getting vaccinated, ignoring the noise, the propaganda, and the political mischief which is intended really to discourage people from taking their health seriously,” said Prime Minister Harris.

He added: “I want to encourage all to remember that the Covid-19 is there. We do not know who has it; it could be the person we are sitting next to, it could be the person in the bar, in the school, in the police, anywhere – in church, with whom we come into contact, and our only protection now is the vaccine and therefore our most powerful protection – we should not take it for granted.”

The Honourable Prime Minister advised persons to get vaccinated quickly, noting that the earlier they do that, they will take the authority over their health and will be empowered by the vaccine. By getting vaccinated, he stressed, they will have better control, will minimise risks to themselves, and minimise risks to their loved ones and all with whom they will come into contact.

Since the Sylvia Garnette Primary Health Care Facility in Tabernacle started offering the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines on Saturdays, Prime Minister Harris noted that Saturday May 29 had the best figure they would have had, 40 in all. Of those, 37 took the first dose and three of them took the second dose. The number was only surpassed by that recorded on Monday May 24 (a public holiday) when a record 43 persons were inoculated. 

“This is an excellent showing and I am very pleased that people are coming out to be vaccinated – not only persons in the constituency but all over the Federation as we have had persons who have come from other areas also, to participate here,” observed Dr Harris. “This facility is one of the best in the country, well laid out, well comfortable, allows for social distancing, and it seems also to be attractive to many people.”

He added: “So the turnout has been going very good, and I am looking forward with great expectation to next week when we will have even better results. So far up to yesterday (Friday May 28) we had had just over 57 percent of the target population vaccinated. That is very good, and I want to push ahead and get closer to the 70 percent target.”

The nurses facilitating the vaccination session on Saturdays, Nurse Norine Gabriel, assisted by Nurse Vivien Greene-Isaac were commended by Prime Minister Harris for having been so diligent and so faithful in service to the country in this particular area. A sizable section of the Spanish community has been turning out at the Tabernacle facility as Nurse Vivien Greene-Isaac, who is Cuban trained, speaks fluent Spanish.

“I want to thank the scores of people around the country who have been encouraging their friends, and their loved ones to come,” said Dr Harris. He gave high commendation to individuals who took out time to encourage and bring persons to the health care facility for vaccinations. These were Ms Desiree Huggins, Mr Everette ‘Capital’ Allen, Officer Jason McGowan, and Mr Jimmy Skelton.

“They have taken it take it on their own as their own contribution to a national effort to bring and encourage persons to get vaccinated,” said Prime Minister Harris. “This is yeoman service when you do that. This is indicating you understand that this is a dangerous virus that kills people, and you are helping to save lives, which is the heart of our strategy to defeat Covid-19. Life first, keep our people well so that they can contribute productively, creating more jobs etc. as a result of our success.”

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