By Staff Writer, MyVue News.com,
Basseterre, 2nd December, 2020, (MyVue News.com)- While the government of the United Kingdom has already given notice of its intention to begin its program of vaccination for the COVID-19, from next week, and the US hoping to follow shortly after, St. Kitts & Nevis is hoping that it will be included in the first phase of distribution by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, revealed that St. Kitts & Nevis is working as part of a global initiative to access the vaccines.
The country has had only 22 confirmed cases, since the start of the outbreak in March this year.
Laws explained that the partnership is through the COVAX Facility, which is a Vaccine Alliance, called Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The CMO said “It aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of these vaccines and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world including the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
It is also a global risk-sharing mechanism, said Laws, that was established to facilitate the pool procurement and equitable distribution of successful COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
She revealed that from discussions during a recent COSOD meeting, the WHO intimated that it might be possible for the vaccines to be available to the Caribbean countries by March 2021.
Laws said that the WHO officials have also indicated that it is projected that three percent of the global need of vaccines will be available by the end of June 2021 and 20 percent of the global need will be available by the end of 2021.
The CMO cautioned that the vaccines will not be available to everyone at the start and that all countries participating in the alliance are aware that at least 20% of their populations may be initially covered.
This means, said the CMO, that countries like St. Kitts & Nevis will have to prioritize in the initial phases in terms of who receives the vaccine.
St. Kitts & Nevis, has already, on 9th October, 2020, made a down payment for its quota of vaccines.
Like other countries, St. Kitts & Nevis will first focus on frontline workers, in health and other essential services.
Main Photo: COVID-19 Vaccine, (Photo Courtesy: Reuters)