No long lines for vaccines in south Trinidad

Just a few people remain outside the Marabella Health Centre on Thursday morning. Photo by Angelo Marcelle
Just a few people remain outside the Marabella Health Centre on Thursday morning. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

With changes to the mass covid19 vaccination walk-in drive, Thursday saw fewer people and less chaos and confusion outside several sites in south Trinidad than the previous day.

At Marabella Health Centre, about ten people lined up for their first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine.

Esther Bain-Charles, 68, and her husband Wayne Charles, 65, got vaccinated and joked that they almost broke the curfew trying to beat any potential gathering. At the stroke of 5 am, they were already in their car. The curfew is from 9 pm-5 am.

"We got numbers 16 and 19. We came yesterday at 6 am and did not get through because of the large number of people," Bain-Charles said. "The process was smooth inside.

"At our ages, if we get the virus, we could die faster."

They live in the area.

John Patel of Claxton Bay visited the centre. saying he got vaccinated on May 25, and he has been scheduled to get his second dose on Sunday. He came to get the status of his next date, not as part of the walk-in.

The first day of this drive was Wednesday on a walk-in, first-come, first-served basis for people 60 and over with or without non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and people under 60 with NCDs.

People waiting outside the Marabella Health Centre on Thursday morning. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Those now eligible are people 60 and over.

The Health Ministry updated the process so that it applies to people by alphabetical order of surnames, starting on Thursday from A-E. On Friday, it is from F-J. It will be from K-O on Monday, P- T on Tuesday and U-Z on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning at the Ste Madeleine Health Centre, there was no rush. A few people stood outside the gate, a far cry from the previous day.

Curland Christopher, 63, of Corinth, said he visited on Wednesday, but it started to drizzle while he was in a long line, and he went home.

At around 5. 45 am on Thursday, he revisited the centre. A numbering system had been implemented, and he got 31.

"The line reached the (front of the nearby police) station. More than 80 got numbers. Then around 8 am, they (staff) announced they would only be dealing with 50 for the day," Christopher said.

The others were told to return on Friday before 8 am with their numbers, he said.

Christopher said the main reason for his taking the jab is the Miami carnival.

Another walk-in client, Steve Rasheed Ali, said health officials were allowing people inside in batches. Ali said he intends to travel abroad as soon as the borders are opened.

At La Romaine Health Centre, ten people were seen waiting to enter.

A few people stood outside the La Romaine Health Centre, Zaida Lane on Thursday, hoping to be accommodated to receive their first dose of the covid19 vaccine. Only 50 persons were taken. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

A couple, who are in their 30s, complained that they visited the site on Wednesday and owing to the crowd did not get through. Instead, health officials told them to return on Thursday.

"Now they are telling us the vaccines are for people 60 and over. They also told us they have a limited supply of 50 for the day," said the woman, who did not give her name.


"No long lines for vaccines in south Trinidad"

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