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Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 1, 2021 (SKNIS): The Government of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has gained global recognition for the management of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, Dr. Milton Britton Barillas, Paediatrician and PAHO/WHO Technical Advisor for COVID-19 roll-out, and Dr. Darlene Omeir, PAHO Advisor, Family and Community Health, are currently in the Federation meeting with health officials to analyze St. Kitts and Nevis’ successful vaccination programme and the strategies implemented by its health officials in the fight against COVID-19.

“The target of our mission is to address the issues related to the concerns related to vaccination. Our mission is to have some sessions with the nurses and other medical staff, the paediatricians, the people that work on the Paediatrics Ward, and we are also going to see how data are collected and how it is being registered. We are also going to look at cold chain management. And on the final day, we are going to have some discussions on how the adverse effects associated with vaccination are being recorded and managed. We will be going through the entire process of the vaccination programme”, said Dr. Omeir speaking at the NEOC COVID-19 Briefing on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

Dr. Omeir applauded the vaccination coverage of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis since the Federation has already surpassed the PAHO/WHO global vaccination requirement. The strategies adopted in the Federation may end up serving as a blueprint for the broader OECS and CARICOM.

Dr. Milton Britton Barillas indicated that a critical part of their mission will also be to analyze the vaccination roll-out and the response of children between the ages of 12-17 years old living in the Federation.

“The developed countries of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have done the research on the vaccine for children using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. They have shown that there are minimal adverse reactions. The safety of the vaccines has shown that there are more benefits than adverse reactions. For our children in the Federation, the best advice that I can give, that PAHO/WHO can say is to take the vaccine. There is much information about the vaccine; PAHO/WHO have given the authorization to use the Pfizer/ BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children from 12-17 years old. This is very important for us since the Federation has recently started its vaccines for children, and to date, there is no information of adverse reaction to vaccination, and this is good,” said Dr. Britton Barillas, speaking at the NEOC COVID-19 Briefing on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

Around the world, less than five percent of children have shown an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, and any adverse reaction has been minimal.  At the completion of the PAHO/WHO mission, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Delores Stapleton-Harris, will be debriefed on the findings of the mission.