Newsday helps diabetic patient, 81, get early date for covid19 jab

A vial of the AstraZeneca vaccine.  -
A vial of the AstraZeneca vaccine. -

An 81-year-old diabetic and hypertensive man has had his appointment for the covid19 vaccine moved up to next Friday, after first receiving a date in June. The change was made after his daughter's concerns about when he would get the vaccine were raised by Newsday at the Health Ministry's virtual media conference on Saturday.

Bianca Superville wrote to Newsday saying she called one of the hotlines to make an appointment for her father, Edwaldo Seijas, on April 6 – the first day the rollout of vaccination began for non-communicable disease (NCD) patients over 60.

She said the operator told her she would call back to give her a date and time after taking the information about her father.

She called back on three occasions as days had passed and no one had reached out to her yet but still got no response.

It was not until she tried using a number for the WhatsApp appointments for a status update on it that she was told he will be vaccinated on June 8. She told Newsday, “How can they start phase two if they did not finish phase one? How is my 81-year-old father not a priority to be included in phase one?

“If they designed an appointment system, why are they not honouring the appointment system and instead expecting elderly people to stand in long lines and wait long time at the health clinic?”

Newsday asked about this at the ministry’s covid19 briefing.

North-Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) CEO Davlin Thomas said there were no appointments beyond May 31 at this time. Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram corrected him by saying there are appointments in June but those are for people due to receive the second dose of the vaccination. Parasram’s second appointment is on June 30. The ministry asked that the information about this particular incident be provided after the press conference.

Superville last evening told Newsday she got a call from someone at the North West Regional Health Authority and was told her father would get the vaccine this week.

"They said that they did see that I registered the Tuesday after Easter Monday, but a wrong phone number was recorded. She apologised and gave me an appointment for next Friday at Diego Martin. Thank you so very much for your help. I really really appreciate it," she said.

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"Newsday helps diabetic patient, 81, get early date for covid19 jab"

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