St Kitts and Nevis government announced that the expired COVID-19 vaccines would not be administered at any of the vaccination centres or sites, as the administration is working to obtain the new ones. The announcement has been made by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Hazel Laws, during the recent press conference, noting that SKN administration is making every effort to safeguard the population from the contagious mutant and getting COVID-19 vaccines.
Responding to the question regarding the shortage of the Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccines, Dr Laws, told the reporters, “At present, the Ministry of Health is trying to get our hands on the next shipment of Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccines, but in the meantime, you can mix and match”.
She went on to say that the mixing of the COVID-19 vaccines is approved and a safe method, adding, “In other words, if one individual has taken the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and is willing to get a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, they can feel free to go back to the health centre and can get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as your second dose. So, mixing & matching are permitted & approved in the Federation“.
Further putting light and providing clarity to the queries of the general public related to the vaccine shortage, Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital – Dr Cameron Wilkinson, welcomed and defended the decision of the SKN government of not using the expired vaccines, stating, the health ministry is not irresponsible.
“I think it is necessary for me from the onset to state the policy from the Ministry of Health and St Kitts and Nevis government in that we said very early we will not be using any expired vaccines on the people of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. And so, any vaccines that expire will be discarded”.
“With that said, we do not see a reason for us to continue to have these expired vaccine trackers that we seem to be getting asked all the time. The same way, for instance, you may go to a pharmacy, & you expect to get a drug that is not expired, we are not going to give you any expired vaccines,” Dr Wilkinson asserted.