Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 11, 2021 (SKNIS): Since the launch of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Roll-Out and Awareness Campaign on February 22, 2021, over 5000 persons have been vaccinated, reported Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws.

Dr. Laws was at the time speaking at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) Press Briefing on March 10, 2021. She noted that in just two weeks 5,176 persons have received their first dose of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine. This means that 15.67 percent of the target population have received their first dose.

In St. Kitts alone, 3699 persons have received their first dose, while in Nevis 1,477 have been vaccinated.

Dr. Laws informed that anyone between the ages of 18 and 80 can access the vaccines at any health centre across the Federation. Vaccinations are now being offered at the Newtown Health Centre on Saturday mornings.

“Once you are over 18 years to 80 years of age you can walk freely into any health centre and request this vaccine,” she said. “If you are 80 or over, we are recommending that you go to your regular physician, be evaluated, and get the nod of approval that you can proceed in getting the vaccine.”

Dr. Laws added that persons working in the private sector, in particular persons who are serving the public and who are at risk of contracting COVID-19, need to be vaccinated. She said that civil servants also interacting with the public need to be vaccinated.

“If you are a customer service representative, if you are a cashier, if you are working in one of the utility companies and you have to serve the general public, you are at risk of being exposed to the virus and so you are a candidate for vaccination,” she said.

The Chief Medical Officer stated that persons with chronic medical conditions are also candidates to be vaccinated. She informed that persons with diabetes, hypertension, asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, arthritis, and persons taking medication can take the vaccine.

“If you have any of these chronic medical conditions [you can take the vaccine], and this list is not exhaustive,” she said. “If you have any questions, you can call your regular physician and get that nod of approval, and you can go to the nearest health centre to access this vaccine.”