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Medical Chief of Staff Addresses Questions Why Vaccinated Persons Are Still Being Restricted

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by Staff Writer

St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): During the NEOC Covid-19 Briefing held at 5 pm on June 16, 2021, it was asked why the Government is restricting the movement of vaccinated nationals and residents. Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, the Medical Chief of Staff of the JNF General Hospital, had this to say in response:

“Yes, we know that being vaccinated decreases your risk of severe disease, decreases your risk of death, and it also significantly decreases the chance of you transmitting the virus. We kept saying though that we have to look after the country as a whole and until we reach a place where a significant portion of the population is vaccinated, the persons who are vaccinated can still be a risk to those who are not vaccinated.” [Minute 54:25]

He added that his hope was that “by the end of [June 2021] we would have 66% of persons fully vaccinated and then we can start making decisions where we know that the majority of the persons are fully vaccinated such that any decisions we make in relation to the vaccinated persons we would have a smaller percentage of persons who are not vaccinated and that would not overwhelm our health system.” [Minute 55:15]

 

 

Government’s target for herd immunity is 70% of the total population of the Federation, that is 33,037 persons fully vaccinated. As at 6 pm on Thursday, June 17, 2021 the total number of persons fully vaccinated was 10,699 and the total number who received their first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine (now known as Vaxzevria) was 22,205. This means that as of Thursday June 17, 2021, St Kitts & Nevis has fully vaccinated only 22.7% of its population( 32.4 percent of the adult population) and 46.8% of its population( 66.9 percent of the adult population) received a first dose.

WINN Media assumes that Dr. Wilkinson’s ‘66% fully vaccinated target by the end of June 2021’ means 66% of the target adult population. That target would require all of the currently “first dose” persons to get their second jab over the next 12 days and result in 46.8% immunity for the Federation.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris, during his opening remarks on Leadership Matters on Tuesday evening, spoke to post-State of Emergency benefits for the vaccinated:

“I am encouraged that at the end of the current 14 days of partial lockdown or enhanced restrictions that new policies will be implemented to ensure we are in a better position to live with Covid-19. We will have new quarantine measures and maybe even perhaps a shorter quarantine period. We will have more benefits for the vaccinated. We will have more businesses opening. But in order to get there…we need more people vaccinated. These 14 days are therefore critical.” [Minute 19:00]

 

In the United States of America, as at June 17, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published that 44.5% of its population is fully vaccinated and they have achieved 53% “first dose” partial immunity. On May 28, 2021 the CDC recommended that (for non-healthcare settings) fully vaccinated people can:

· Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing

· Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel

· Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States

· Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings

· Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic

· Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible

 

Will similar rules be implemented in St Kitts & Nevis if we reach Dr. Wilkinson’s June 2021 target? Time will tell.

Despite the foregoing relaxing of restrictions, all statistics show that in the USA Covid-19 positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all trending significantly down since May 28, 2021.

Nate Rattner, a journalist for CNBC in the USA, in his article titled “Biden is on track to fall short of vaccinating 70% of American adults by the Fourth of July” had this to say:

When asked about the consequences of missing the 70% target at a news briefing last week, the White House’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the Fourth of July would not be the end of the country’s vaccination efforts as the risk of infection and illness remains for those who haven’t gotten a shot.

“If you don’t meet the precise goal and you fall short by a few percent, that doesn’t mean you stop in your effort to get people vaccinated,” Fauci said. “We want to reach 70% of the adult population by the Fourth of July. I believe we can, I hope we will, and if we don’t we’re going to continue to keep pushing.”

Fauci emphasized that people who don’t get vaccinated are still at risk. “If you get vaccinated, you dramatically, dramatically diminish the risk of getting infected and almost eliminate the risk of serious disease,” he said.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/17/president-bidens-fourth-of-july-covid-vaccination-goals-are-in-jeopardy.html

 

 

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