Premier Mark Brantley and other Cabinet Ministers of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) became the first individuals to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, as the immunization drive kicked off on Wednesday.
Brantley, who is also Senior Minister of Health in the NIA, said his Cabinet is leading by example to demonstrate to the Nevisian public that getting vaccinated against the virus is safe and highly recommended if the island is to achieve herd immunity.
“Today is a very historic day for us because the entire Cabinet, led by myself as Premier, and certain healthcare and frontline line workers, we all took the step of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is what we have and we have demonstrated that it is safe and it is the only way to get our people past this COVID-19 pandemic,” the Premier said.
“I’m delighted that all of our Cabinet colleagues have come out to lead by example and to show the population there is absolutely no risk.”
He added that he looked forward to the rest of the population getting vaccinated.
“We know that nobody is safe until everybody is safe, so we encourage one and all to go out and get vaccinated. Let’s fight this COVID-19 together and keep Nevis and the federation safe,” the Premier urged.
Minister of Health in the NIA, Hazel Brandy Williams, who said the jab was quick and virtually painless, encouraged residents to make appointments at their nearest health centre to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Several senior health professionals, including Medical Officer of Health and Chair of Nevis’ COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Judy Nisbett, as well as Chandreka Persaud-Wallace, Matron-designate of the Alexandra Hospital, also took their first dose of the vaccine on Wednesday.
The government of St. Kitts and Nevis launched its national vaccination programme on Monday, from its first batch of 2,000 doses it received from Dominica, which was gifted a larger batch by the Government of India and had shared with its Eastern Caribbean neighbours.