The smallest country in the Western Hemisphere, St Kitts and Nevis, is running a successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris is making the path much more accessible by providing free vaccines in his twin-island country.
The COVID-19 vaccination campaign was started on 22 February 2021. Just months after starting it, St Kitts and Nevis became the first country in the sub-region to get to the World Health Organization (WHO) minimum aim of reaching 40 percent of the population fully immunized. With 73.2 percent fully vaccinated and at least 79.7 percent of the adult population taking their first shot, St Kitts and Nevis now have the more extensive vaccination rate in the region.
The overcome the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris announced a $120 million stimulus package. Besides this, massive investment into the health sector was made to strengthen the medical infrastructure to fight back the pandemic. Immediately after the first few cases of COVID-19 were discovered in St Kitts and Nevis, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris added a new fleet of advanced technology ambulances, ventilators and other medical supplies.
Relief to citizens
Under the $120 million stimulus package, citizens received a $1000 monthly relief to deal with the crisis caused by the pandemic. While other countries like Barbados offered $600 and St Vincent and the Grenadines offered only $300 per month, St Kitts and Nevis became the only country in the region to provide a massive amount of $1000. The government has paid $4.6 million to more than 2,000 applicants, and the third batch of payments will be cleared by October 2022. Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris stated that his government’s more comprehensive approach is making sure that every person receives their benefits and cheques to be distributed until every person get back to employment.
Besides this, under the Fuel Subsidy Programme, St Kitts and Nevis provided $81,600 to bus drivers, while the Disability support also benefited 142 families with a total payout of $163,500. In addition to that, $2.7 million PAP payments were completed by the treasury for September bringing the total amount of $24.2 million.
From March 2020 to September 2021, St Kitts and Nevis government, under the administration of Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, spent $18.4 million to procure medical equipment, additional manpower, arranging physicians and specialists, pharmaceutical and vaccinations.
With its advanced contact tracing techniques, St Kitts and Nevis successfully controlled the widespread COVID-19 virus. Despite being relatively small in size, St Kitts and Nevis proved its capabilities with a managed crisis management during the time of pandemic.