Tobago is expected to receive its first tranche of covid19 vaccines by February 25, according to THA Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine.
At the division’s virtual news conference on Tuesday, Davidson-Celestine said, with the vaccine on its way, it brought new hope that the island, and by extension the country, “can work with the rest of the world to beat the covid19 virus.”
She said: “We expect to receive the vaccines no later than the 25th of this month.”
Manager of Primary Care at the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) Dr Roxanne Mitchell said the first vaccine that would be coming in would be the AstraZeneca one. She said the approach will be contingent on the supply of the vaccine.
“Initially, we would have a limited supply and as a result we would expect that a priority listing and a priority vaccination would take place.
"We would begin with the healthcare workers, all cadres of healthcare workers, all frontline staff. We’re going to look at the non-healthcare workers in terms of essential non-healthcare workers, adults with pre-existing conditions, adults over 60 and then we would then stratify the general public going down.”
She said people under 18, pregnant women and people living with HIV would not be given the vaccine.
“Those are the groups that are exempt and also have very strong considerations for those persons who may have a reactive component to any of the vaccine constituents.”
She said the vaccination sites would be the Scarborough, Roxborough and Canaan Health centres and a schedule would be posted.
She added that immunisation would take place using an appointment system.
Pre-registration information will be sent out and people cancontact the division using text messages, WhatsApp messages, e-mail or phone calls to schedule appointments.
She said there was a national vaccine administration capacity of 50 vaccinations per site, per day, "with the option of ramping up," depending on the demand and the life of the vaccines.
She said recipients of the first dose would receive a second appointment and a reminder. She said the timing recommended by the World Health Organisation was eight-12 weeks after the first dose.