General manager of primary care at the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) Dr Roxanne Mitchell has said the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccination process is encouraging thus far, despite “kinks.”
“I am heartened by the response,” Mitchell told Newsday by phone on Wednesday.
“We are still working out some kinks, because we are human at the end of the day. We are trying our best to ensure that we can roll out safely and effectively and looking to see how best we can improve going forward in the event we have to ramp up the vaccine distributions.”
She said the targeted daily vaccination rate was 150, and at the end of the first day of the programme on Tuesday, 152 people had received the vaccine: 33 at Canaan Health Centre, 36 at Roxborough and 83 at Scarborough.
“We are a little slow in some areas, but we are trying to make up as much as possible."
She could not say how many people were vaccinated on Wednesday as the tallying was still going on, but added that more than 2,000 people had pre-registered to receive the first doses of the covid19 vaccine.
“We are at 2,057 as at 2pm today (Wednesday).
“Of the 2,057, when you take out persons who are not eligible – we have a lot of persons who are not eligible – there are a lot of persons who are registering their children under 18. So once you start to eliminate those, as well as persons who are registering from Trinidad and all of that, we brought our numbers down to 899 in terms of persons that we need to give appointments. We’ve given out 910 appointments so far, so we have an additional 899.”
She asked people to stop registering their children, explaining, "The vaccines have not been tested in persons under 18. We’re asking them kindly to not register – you have 12-year-olds and eight-year-olds – they are doing themselves and the general public a disservice if they continue to do that.”
When contacted, THA Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine, who was among scores of Tobagonians who received the vaccine on Tuesday at the Scarborough Health Centre said: “I am doing well. As part of the side effects, I had some body pains.”
Newsday visited the Canaan Health Centre on Wednesday to get a first-hand look at the process, which began at 1pm. People were seen sitting on chairs outside as they waited for their names to be called. Among those seen going to the centre was Chief Justice Ivor Archie.
Last Wednesday, TT received 33,600 doses of AztraZeneca vaccines in the first tranche from the World Health Organization’s Covax facility. Of that number, Tobago got 3,000 doses, enough to vaccinate 1,500 people. Among those to be vaccinated are essential or frontline workers along with people with chronic illnesses.
In its latest update, the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development said the island currently has 15 active cases, having recorded one new case. There were no discharges. Covid19 deaths remained at two.
The number of samples submitted to the Tobago Regional Health Authority, the Caribbean Public Health Agency and other local testing sites is 3,588. So far, 177 samples have tested positive.