BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - DESPITE a push to ensure that everyone, the world over, has access to the COVID-19 vaccine from the leading providers, that may not be enough for one to be refrained from being quarantined on arrival in St. Kitts and Nevis.
In fact, the early results from studies undertaken by the vaccine markers have forced local authorities to push for mandatory quarantine for persons entering the Federation.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws confirmed that even though those persons, especially those from the UK, were vaccinated, they might still pose a threat of transmission of the virus and its new strain since there is no evidence that suggest they would be cleared of it.
Speaking at Wednesday’s (Jan. 6) NEIC media brief, she explained that studies have not confirmed that someone vaccinated could not transmit the virus.
“So, if an individual in the United Kingdom received any of the three vaccines and travelled to St. Kitts, yes, they would have to be quarantined for 14 days,” she confirmed.
Concerns have been growing in recent weeks over a new, more contagious strain of the Coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom.
The discovery of the new strain has also been found in more than 33 countries around the world, with Jamaica becoming the first in the region to confirm a case. Health officials in Barbados are suspicious that the recent cluster outbreak on the island might have that strain of the virus.
“So, the manufacturers have said that the vaccine prevents you from getting severe disease and it prevents death from COVID-19. So that is the assurance that we have from being vaccinated with either of these three vaccines.
“However, if an individual is vaccinated there is no guarantee that the individual will not contract the disease; and then there is no guarantee that if the individual contracts the COVID-19 that they can’t pass it on to others,” the CMO added.
With those non-assurances in the vaccines, Dr. Laws noted it is better to have those persons in quarantine for the 14-day period, where they would be retested to ensure that they do not have the virus before they are allowed to integrate with the population.