BASSETEREE, St. Kitts, May 14, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris had the opportunity today (Friday, May 14) to again share with the international community St. Kitts and Nevis’ effective all-of-society approach to containing and managing the COVID-19 pandemic and returning the nation to the path of a stronger, safer future.
TheSt. Kitts and Nevis prime minister was a special guest on Bloomberg QuickTake – a global streaming news network. Launched in 2017, Bloomberg QuickTake features live news throughout the day as well as documentary-style original series focusing on a variety of topics around business and politics.
Speaking on the issues of access of COVID-19 vaccines in the Caribbean, Prime Minister Harris, who also serves as CARICOM’s Lead Head on Health Matters, said greater effort is needed from larger nations with greater resources, like the United States of America, to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines globally, and particularly within the Caribbean Community.
“The US is the most important partner to the CARICOM Member States, and St. Kitts and Nevis in particular. It supplies us with the largest intake of tourists, and it is the market for most of what we export. What we really would have loved to see is that the US would have shown early leadership in terms of support to the region as we fight a most dangerous pandemic. The US at this moment has excess vaccines. The Caribbean region needs vaccines desperately and in the short term, we would require the United States of America to make a portion of those excess vaccines available to CARICOM Member States, including St. Kitts and Nevis,” Prime Minister Harris said during this morning’s interview.
Dr. Harris indicated to the millions of viewers to the Bloomberg QuickTake programme that the Federation’s vaccination process is progressing reasonably well, despite some levels of vaccine hesitancy amongst the population.
He added, “We have about 42 percent of our target population covered; covered meaning they at least had their first shot of the vaccine. The vaccine of choice here is the AstraZeneca vaccine and that is of course a two-dose regime. So, we are moving on the path of getting to the target population which is 70 percent of our population. We still have a significant journey to go but we are satisfied to date that in the short of some 10 weeks we have been able to cover 42 percent of the target.”
As the twin-island Federation will require additional vaccines to adequately meet its vaccination target of 70 percent, Prime Minister Harris said he will continue his advocacy on behalf of St. Kitts and Nevis and the wider Caribbean region for equitable distribution of vaccines.