BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 07, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis received its full complement of 21,600 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility today (Wednesday, April 06).

The21,600 doses of vaccine from the COVAX Facility, in addition to the 20,000 doses received courtesy the Government of India, now allows for St. Kitts and Nevis to fully vaccinate 20,800 persons – representing 62 percent of the target population of 33,236.

Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, while speaking at a special ceremony at the RLB International Airport to mark the arrival of the vaccines, said the additional doses of vaccine have now put St. Kitts and Nevis further along the path to recovery.

We were up to a couple weeks back faced with the challenge that we had no vaccines. Today, we are closer to ensuring that our future can be safer and better as a result of this further supply,” Prime Minister Harris said.

The prime minister went on to thank the COVAX Facility for fulfilling its commitment to the Federation, noting that, “It is because of their collaborative efforts, both at the global and hemispheric level, between all of the foregoing entities and other agencies that Nations like St. Kitts and Nevis can receive this support that we need in the fight against COVID-19.”

The COVAX Facility is a global effort co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

With these additional doses now available free of cost to the people, Prime Minister Harris made another appeal to citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis to step forward and accept the vaccine.

“None can dare say that what we have here is not an existential threat to our wellbeing, our way of life, the way we do things. It has been so for over a year now and it is time for us to awaken to the reality that life has to go back to some sense of normalcy. The mask wearing, and all those things which we can’t do, which we had loved so much and for which we have to find better ways of doing until we get ourselves vaccinated, we can’t change course,” the prime minister said.

St. Kitts and Nevis secured its portion of vaccines through the COVAX Facility by paying the required sum of US$223,660. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) paid US$96,163 on behalf of the Federation while the Government paid the balance of US$127,497.

At the end of day on Tuesday, April 06, a total of 9,774 persons were administered their first dose of the vaccine. This represents 29.6 percent of the Government’s target population.