In April of this year 2021 The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, made a clarion call for rich countries to show more solidarity and compassion in helping Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in procuring more COVID-19 vaccines.
According to Reuters, it was in March of 2021 that little St Kitts and Nevis also raised the issue of the United States assisting its third border, the Caribbean, with vaccines. PM Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda and others followed up and engaged substantively on this issue as did CARICOM.
Today, CARICOM and in particular St.Kitts-Nevis are reaping the fruits of that diplomatic push. Working closely with the United States of America, St Kitts and Nevis will be among the first of 6 CARICOM countries to receive doses of Pfizer vaccines donated by the United States as a direct result of regional diplomatic engagement with the US government.
The United States Wednesday announced the shipment of the Pfizer vaccine to six Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, as part of its commitment to provide “safe and effective vaccines to as many people around the world as fast as possible” According to an official statement sent to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), Washington said the six CARICOM countries to receive the first shipment of the vaccines are Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Antigua, and Barbuda, St. Kitts-Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It said that Trinidad and Tobago will receive 305,370 dozes of the Pfizer vaccine, Bahamas, 397,000, Antigua and Barbuda 17,550, Barbados, 70,200, St Kitts and Nevis, 11,700 and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 35,100“We have been working to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people around the world as fast as possible. Thanks to the ingenuity of American scientists and the resilience and commitment of the American people, we’re in a position to help others,” President Joe Biden said.
StKitts-Nevis Minister of Foreign Affairs lauded the efforts of PM Harris and his team. “Our Prime Minister Dr Harris and regional Heads, as well as our Honourable Minister of Health Akilah Byron Nisbett, Attorney General Vincent Byron, Jr and their teams, must all be commended for their hard work in getting us to this point,” declared Minister of Foreign Affairs and Premier of Nevis Hon. Mark Brantley. Brantley continued “Diplomacy is often quietly undertaken without much fanfare but this donation of life-saving vaccines demonstrates the truism that #DiplomacyMatters “