by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Thirty-six countries and territories participating in COVAX are expected to receive the first set of vaccine deliveries, 35.3 million doses, from the second half of February through the second quarter of 2021.
WINN attempted to glean the number of doses allocated for St. Kitts-Nevis from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws; however, we were unable to by news time Monday (February 1).
Despite what social media might suggest, there is no confirmation from officials to indicate that the federation shall be receiving the doses in the next two weeks.
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, estimated that we would be receiving the first doses of vaccines in the second quarter of the year, which were secured through the COVAX facility with a down payment of US$800,000.00.
In a release from the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), notice was given of the first phase of the vaccine delivery in a letter to health authorities regionally on January 31.
The vaccine to be delivered is the Oxford/AstraZeneca a collaboration between The University of Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca’s efficacy rate is 62% to 90%, depending on the dosage which calls for a double jab four weeks apart for maximum efficacy.
Thirty-six countries and territories including St. Kitts and Nevis participating in COVAX received letters about the estimated number of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to be delivered from the second half of February through the second quarter of 2021.
According to the release from PAHO, the AstraZeneca vaccine is still under review by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Use Listing Procedure (EUL) for approval, which is expected to occur within the first week of February. The number of doses and delivery schedule are still subject to EUL and manufacturing production capacity, as well as establishing supply agreements between the producers, PAHO, and UNICEF.
Additionally through the “First Wave” initiative from the COVAX facility, four countries from the Americas: Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, and Peru are expected to receive just under 400,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which boasts a 95% efficacy with two doses, 21 days apart and expected to arrive the beginning of mid-February.