Tobago is expected to begin its public vaccination drive on Tuesday, having received its first shipment of covid19 vaccines from the Covax facility.
This was said by general manager of primary care at the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) Dr Roxanne Mitchell as she was on hand at the ANR Robinson International Airport in Crown Point to receive the shipment on Thursday.
Tobago received its 3,000 vaccine doses to cover 1,500 essential frontline workers and people with chronic illnesses who qualify as part of this first phase of the vaccination programme. The roll out will begin at the health centres at Scarborough and Canaan.
People are urged to send a WhatsApp or text message to 493-0248, 493-0256, 493-0284 or 493-0289 to book an appointment. An email can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mitchell noted that with the vaccination programme will come the expected return to some level of normalcy in terms of the social and economic well-being on the island.
“It is the first step towards that. We are hoping that persons will register and that persons would keep their appointments once they get an appointment for the vaccine. The sooner we can vaccinate the population, the sooner we can return to what we call normal on the island.”
The acceptance of the vaccine, she said, is voluntary.
“I can only urge persons if it is you are desirous of moving forward in terms of a return to social normalcy and economic normalcy, that you step forward and do your part in terms of getting vaccinated. We would provide the vaccines; you just need to show up and we would do our part.”
Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine encouraged all to get vaccinated.
“I urge all of you – take the vaccines when it arrives as you’ve heard from others, this is the only way that we would be able to reopen Tobago’s economy fully, this is the only way that we’ll be able to help those persons who have since been unemployed as a result of the shutting down of the tourism sector as well as other sectors in Tobago. So, let’s get this ball rolling, come out and get your vaccines.”
On Friday, Davidson-Celestine revealed more than 500 Tobagonians have already pre-registered and the number is increasing steadily.
Trinidad and Tobago received 33,000 vaccines in the first tranche from the World Health Organization's Covax facility this week.
This is the second arrival of vaccines in Tobago as on February 18, it received the first batch of 200 doses, part of a gift of 2,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to TT from Barbados, which targeted 100 healthcare professionals.
In its latest update on Thursday, the division said four new cases were recorded, bringing the number of active cases in Tobago to eight.
The release noted that covid19 deaths in Tobago remain at two and the number of samples submitted to the Tobago Regional Health Authority, the Caribbean Public Health Agency and other local testing sites is 3,386. So far, 169 samples have tested positive.