By Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): During the January 19, 2022 NEOC COVID-19 press briefing, medical officials in St.Kitts and Nevis have updated the public on the availability of Covid 19 vaccines in the Federation, given the ongoing global pandemic and vaccine shortages.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, indicated that while the Federation awaits the next batch of vaccines, individuals can be inoculated with another available brand of vaccine.
She said, “At present, the Ministry of Health is trying to get our hands on the next batch of Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccines but in the meantime, you can mix and match. In other words, if you have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine and you are willing to get your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, feel free to go back to the health center and you can get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as your second dose. So, mixing and matching are allowed and approved in the Federation.”
Meanwhile, the Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, responded to a question about expired vaccines being administered in the Federation and dismissed the notion that health practitioners would expose the people of St.Kitts and Nevis that.
Wilkinson said, “I think it is important for me from the onset to state the policy from the Ministry of Health and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in that we said very early we will not be using any expired vaccines on the people of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. And so, any vaccines that expire will be discarded. With that said there is really no reason for us to continue to have these expired vaccine trackers that we seem to be getting asked about all the time. The same way, for example, you may go to a pharmacy and you expect to get a drug that is not expired, we are not going to give you any expired vaccines.”
Dr. Wilkinson also stated that the batch of Pfizer vaccines currently in the Federation will expire on February 28, 2022, and more vaccines will be sourced before the current expires.