Three hundred vaccines an hour – 2,500 by 4.30 pm, Sunday.
That is the rate of vaccination being rolled out at the Divali Nagar site on Sunday morning, on day one of the Ministry of Health’s collaboration with the private sector to undertake mass vaccination.
Dr Vishi Y Beharry, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association (TTMA) said the aim was to vaccinate between 240 to 250 people an hour.
“But we have exceeded that,” he told the Newsday at the Chaguanas mass vaccination site where Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh and Trade Minister Paula Gopee Scoon made a visit to oversee the process.
“We are estimating to vaccine 2,500 people at the end of the day. Because of the change curfew hours, our last needle to skin time is 4.30 pm, and so our patients will be out of here by 4.50 pm and our volunteers would be out of here by 5.30 pm at the latest.”
He said three organisations came together to plan and excute the vaccination drive: the TT Manufacturers Association, the Medical Association and SEWA International TT.
He said no date has yet been set for other mass vaccination days.
“This is our start. We are planning other days. I don’t have the exact details as yet. It all depends on availability of vaccines.
“If we finish 2,500 today, then we will have 2,500 left out of the allocation to the manufacturing sector. But we are also going to be supporting other sectors. When we have that confirmation we will know what other days we are going to be here.”
As with any new exercise, Beharry said there were little hiccups at the start, but those have since been ironed out and the programme is running smoothly.
Deyalsingh outlined the distribution of the vaccines in stock to the private sector at the Prime Minister’s media conference on Saturday as Government seeks to “vaccinate and operate” as more vaccines become available.
Deyalsingh said 4,000 doses were allocated to the Supermarket’s Association (SATT), 1,000 to the pharmacy ssociation, 5,000 to the construction industry and another 5,000 to the Manufacturer’s Association.
SATT’s inoculation process will begin on June 8 at Centre Point Mall auditorium, Chaguanas. Contractors association is working with UDeCOTT to finalise their vaccination drive.
Deyalsingh said there were currently 144,200 Oxford AstraZenca vaccines in stock and another 33,600 is expected to take the country to a committed amount of 177,800 doses.
He was optimistic that at least 88,900 people could be vaccinated by mid-July.
The second dose of AstraZenca delivery starts on Monday.