Local businessman first to take Sputnik V jab

Social media influencer and private chauffeur Kaiser Lake got the first dose of the Sputnik vaccine at the Villa Polyclinic yesterday. (Photo courtesy Kaiser Lake)
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By Theresa Goodwin

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What was anticipated to be a traumatic event turned out quite fine for a local social media influencer and businessman who yesterday became the first person in the country to take the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

Kaiser Lake said he was anticipating the feel of “venom” running through his body, akin to the feeling one would get after being stung by a bee or similar insect.

However, hours after he received the vaccine, he was laughing as he shared that he is yet to feel any reaction or side effect, despite the “very long needle” which pierced his arm.

The private chauffeur said over the past few months he has been boosting his immune system in preparation for yesterday’s rollout. He said the Sputnik V was his second option after he realised that Antigua and Barbuda may not be able to acquire the Moderna shot just yet.

“I just did not want the AstraZeneca and the Sinopharm, and I could not get my hands on the Moderna, so the next best thing was the Sputnik and I kinda like the Russians. So far, I am feeling fine,” Lake said.

He is also encouraging other nationals to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the dreaded Covid-19 virus, and advised them to first consult with a trusted physician and do their own independent research.

“I honestly feel people are looking for more options. I am a chauffeur, one of the first persons a visitor interacts with when they arrive at the airport. We have to transport them to a hotel or villa and we still have to protect ourselves and our families,” Lake added.

So far, the two-dose Sputnik V is the third vaccine option that is currently available to nationals alongside the Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Chinese Sinopharm jab. Pre-registration has also started for the Pfizer jab which arrived on island last Thursday.

The Sputnik V will be administered at the Villa Polyclinic from Monday through Fridays from 9am to 5pm, a Ministry of Health spokesperson said.

The individual added that the doses are to be administered three weeks apart and shots will be given from 1,000 doses which were acquired by the ministry a few months ago and the second shot from an additional 1,000-dose batch which is already in stock. Unlike other vaccines, each of the Sputnik’s two doses uses a different type of adenovirus.

The Russian Sputnik V vaccine is among one of the frontrunners in terms of Covid-19 vaccinations.

While it has not yet received the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO), as of July 26 it was approved in 70 different countries including Antigua and Barbuda and is being distributed across the globe.

A leading health official in the country has recommended the jab, indicating that its efficacy is on par with other vaccines.

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