St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): In this week’s COVID-19 update for St. Kitts and Nevis, 144 cases have been reported in the last five days (August 30 – September 3).
Slightly lower than last week’s 230 cases from August 23 – 28.
The Federation has recorded 1,197 total cases; 1,012 on St. Kitts and 185 in Nevis.
Two deaths were added to the toll this week, Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, respectively and the death toll now stands at five deaths. The last death recorded, the third, was recorded two months ago during the second wave on June 22.
On the Vaccine front, the last batch of AstraZeneca vaccines the Federation had expired on August 31.
Earlier in August, we received 11,700 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the US, and the health authorities here started its rollout on Sept. 1.
Dr Cuthbert Sebastian, an Emergency Room Physician at the Joseph N France General Hospital, was a guest on WINN’s Inside the News on Saturday, Sept. 4. He gave a summary of the process necessary to administer the Pfizer vaccine.
“As you know, Pfizer is stored in negative 70 degrees Celsius; that’s how it should be stored. It has two parts [to] it; it has the powder and a solution]. So when you are storing it, one, it has to move down to negative 20 degrees Celsius. Then after that, it then has to move down to a regular refrigerator, so as you know that could take at least a day or so for it to thaw out, so it has to thaw out to a certain temperature between two to eight degrees Celsius. Then the solution has to be mixed, at the same temperature, that this is that if you don’t miss at the same temperature it’s gone wrong… and you can’t move back up in terms of temperature, it can’t be refrozen after it has thawed. And after you mix it, you have to make sure not to shake it too much, you have [to move it up and down slowly], very gently, very lightly, or that could do some damage to it. So it’s a whole training process of learning that you have to go through in order to be able to handle the Pfizer vaccine. That’s probably why the rollout has taken so long, [and it’s probably why it’s being done by appointment as well]. Yes, because you can’t afford to lose a dose of it. Because if you dethawed and no one comes, then that’s it; it goes to waste,” explained Dr Sebastian.
The vaccination numbers for the week August 30 – Sept. 3, 457 doses were administered, 130 were first doses, and 417 were second.
Down from last week’s impressive 1,700 doses administered.
As with the expiration of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the introduction of the Pfizer vaccine, the rate for the second dose will see a downturn, from Sept 1 – 3, five doses of the second shot were administered.
Until more of the previous vaccine, AstraZeneca, arrives in the federation for those awaiting the second shot or until the 21-day interval being used for the Pfizer vaccine passes, second doses should remain low.
So far, 24,369 first doses and 21,910 second doses have been administered in St. Kitts and Nevis.