Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 03, 2021 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis has recently received correspondence from the Managing Director of the COVAX Facility Office providing information regarding the first portion of the assigned COVID-19 Vaccines to satisfy the facility’s agreement with the Federation. This was announced by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, while appearing on Leadership Matters on February 02.She noted that the Federation has signed on to the COVAX Facility, which is a global mechanism developed to help participating member states gain access to COVID-19 vaccines. “We were informed that St. Kitts and Nevis can expect to be distributed an indicative number of doses of the Oxford University AstraZeneca Vaccine,” she said. “We have been allocated 21,600 doses that will provide coverage for approximately 20 percent of our population.”The start date of delivery of the vaccine is as early as mid to late February, said Dr. Laws. However, this is subject to the World Health Organization (WHO) listing approval process and completion of the next steps including the implementation of the country’s vaccination deployment plan and regulatory preparedness.The estimated supply schedule indicates that 25 to 35 percent of this number will be supplied in the first quarter of this year and 65 to 75 percent in the second quarter, said the Chief Medical Officer. “The Federation is seeking access to COVID-19 Vaccines through two other mechanisms,” she said. “Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine is crucial to curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infections and restarting our economy here in our Federation, the economy in the region, and globally.”Dr. Laws reiterated that the plan is to access enough vaccines to provide coverage for at least 20 percent of our population in the first instance and that the ultimate goal is to attain a coverage of at least 70 percent.“It would be ideal if we could achieve the herd immunity threshold, which in turn will reduce the risk of clusters of COVID-19 cases and community transmission,” said Dr. Laws.