by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): St. Kitts and Nevis’ vaccination program started Monday (February 22) with Oxford Astrazeneca vaccines recently donated by the Commonwealth of Dominica.
But even as the process started despite assurances from officials that the process was “following the science”, questions were raised about the public education program organised to correct misinformation on social media and to allay the fears of some who had reservations about taking the vaccine.
The local public education vaccine promotional material was rolled on Monday afternoon on the Health Promotion Unit’s Facebook page.
There is also a survey for people to share their views on the vaccination exercise.
To take the survey visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RFL779S
The first two, of a group of about 50 people, to take the vaccine on Monday were Medical Chief of Staff of the JNF General Hospital Dr. Cameron Wilkinson and Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, in that order.
Dominica gifted St Kitts and Nevis 2000 COVID-19 vaccines out of a batch of about 70,000 it received from India.
Concerns about the vaccine heard in passing, range from the Oxford/AstraZeneca not being the ‘good one’ because of the lower efficacy compared to Pfizer and Moderna; to a lack of trust in all vaccines because of the fast development and distribution as well as rare but horrific cases of drastic side effects.
Reuters recently reported that “The World Health Organization agreed to a no-fault compensation plan for claims of serious side effects in people in 92 poorer countries due to procuring COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX sharing scheme…”
The plan is reportedly designed to cover serious side effects linked to any COVAX-distributed vaccines until June 30, 2022 – in a group of 92 poorer states which includes most African and Southeast Asian countries and CARICOM states Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has been matched by the largest-ever rollout of new vaccines under the ACT-Accelerator and its vaccines pillar, COVAX. This no-fault compensation mechanism helps to ensure that people in Advance Market Commitment (AMC)-eligible countries and economies can benefit from the cutting-edge science that has delivered COVID-19 vaccines in record time,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a press release.
The release further stated that the COVAX no-fault compensation program will be operationalized through its web portal by 31 March 2021.
See the full list of COVAX participatory countries here: