Deyalsingh: People not eligible for vaccine caused crowds

Long lines outside the Ste Madeleine health centre as people rushed to receive the Sinopharm vaccine on Wednesday. Photo by Lincoln Holder
Long lines outside the Ste Madeleine health centre as people rushed to receive the Sinopharm vaccine on Wednesday. Photo by Lincoln Holder

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said many people who were not eligible for the covid19 vaccine turned up on Wednesday for walk-in vaccinations at health centres across the country, causing much of the overcrowding.

Deyalsingh was speaking on Power 102 on Thursday morning.

He said, “What happened yesterday was that we asked people who are 60 and over and those who are 60 and under with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to come in.

"What happened yesterday was that a lot of people who are not eligible turned up.”

On Wednesday Deyalsingh apologised for underestimating the demand and said the ministry "must learn some lessons" from the incident.

On Thursday he said the CEOs of the various regional health authorities (RHAs) wanted to be comfortable with the number of vaccines distributed daily so that other services offered at the centres could continue, such as the NCD and mental-health clinics.

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh -

He said the RHA CEOs and ministry officials decided on 50 vaccines per day per centre, considering the centres will begin administering the second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine soon.

“We didn’t want what happened yesterday, with the congregation. So we’ll have proper social distancing. And all the reports this morning is that what happened yesterday was not replicated this morning.”

On Wednesday, health centres across the country were overrun by hundreds of people waiting in long lines in the hope of getting the Sinopharm vaccine. On Thursday older people lined up, only to discover the numbers of vaccines available were very limited.

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"Deyalsingh: People not eligible for vaccine caused crowds"

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