St. Kitts and Nevis Covid-19 vaccine rollout success

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect countries around the world with the number of cases and deaths increasing daily. Since May 2021, St. Kitts and Nevis a dual-island nation in the Caribbean with a population of 53,192 has also experienced two major surges in COVID-19 cases. According to the data received through PCR tests, as of October 25, 2021, there have been 2,637 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 21 deaths.

— October 2021 —

As of October 25, 2021, 50,045 vaccines have been administered, 76.6% have received one dose and 24,197 or 72.1% are fully vaccinated. The goal is to have 33,037 adults fully vaccinated which is 80% of the population and 4,800 children, the total population of 12–17-year-olds.

Building upon past practices and strong leadership

The Covid-19 vaccination coverage rate in St. Kitts and Nevis is high.  This has been credited to very robust implementation strategies, including the fact that the Covid-19 vaccination strategies were built upon a very solid general vaccination program in the country.

Historically, St. Kitts and Nevis has a successful record of having a high vaccination rate.  In terms of childhood vaccination, the overall rate is between 96-97%, so they would have built upon that platform when rolling out the Covid-19 vaccines.  Some of the contributing factors to the successful Covid-19 vaccination rollout include:

  • A strong health system with an all-hands-on deck approach to management of the pandemic;
  • Support from partners such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the European Union, and countries like the United States of America, Taiwan and India, who first assisted with acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines;
  • The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon Dr. Timothy Harris played a very important role in the rollout and success of the program. This was a key strategy in terms of people seeing the leader of the Federation coming on board.