Dr. Wilkinson assures that all expired vaccines have been discarded; dispels rumours about lack of contact tracing

Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 5, 2021 (SKNIS): During the July 2, 2021, NEOC COVID-19 Press briefing, Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France Hospital (JNF) Dr. Cameron Wilkinson explained the distribution and breakdown of how the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines was administered across the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“We got 4,160 vials of the COVID-19 vaccines that were supposed to be used on or before June 30th, 2021, and we have said previously that after the 30th of June we would not be using any from that stock. These 4,160 vials were intended to deliver a minimum of 41,600 doses. It is not unusual for vials to be overfilled, sometimes by up to 12-15 percent, because the manufacturers have to account for spillage and dead space in the needles, etc… Therefore, if one was to use all 4,160 vials depending on who was delivering and the amount of spillage you could get more of the expected doses or less. Here in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, we were happy that in using the vials we were provided we were able to get more than the minimum amount that was expected,” said Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Wilkinson.

Dr. Wilkinson further stated that out of the 41,600 doses the Federation received, because of the competent management of healthcare professionals they were able to gain an additional 250 doses. The remaining vials of vaccines at the 17 health centers across the Federation, after June 30, 2021, were discarded.

In response to a question related to rumours of family members being tested positive and remaining at home without any contact tracing being done, Dr. Wilkinson rejected that notion and provided insight on the functioning of the Ministry of Health’s contact tracing process.

“Once a person tests positive our contact tracing begins. The immediate contacts which include the family members, those persons would be the first in line. And so, there is not a situation that the team would be aware of that a family member would be testing positive and the other family members would not be considered in the contact tracing process,” said Dr. Wilkinson.

The Medical Chief of Staff thanked all of the persons living in the Federation who came forward in a timely manner and got vaccinated while praising all persons involved in the education and the roll-out programme that enabled the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to now be a much safer place through vaccination as the fight against COVID-19 continues.

Featured Image – Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff at JNF General Hospital

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