MP for Tunapuna Esmond Forde said he and his team are to assist people in his constituency over 50 with getting to and from vaccination sites.
In a brief phone interview with Newsday, Forde said he began collecting the names of interested people on Thursday and has over 40 so far.
“My team and I have been contemplating how we can assist in order to reach herd immunity by getting people vaccinated,” he said, adding although they decided to prioritise the elderly, if anyone else requests the service and there is space on the shuttles, they can be accommodated.
“We will make appointments for these people and en grappe (together), whether at Tacarigua, the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA), or the Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah.”
He said participants will be organised on the basis of where they live.
“We have made arrangements with the University of the Southern Caribbean (to use its) buses,” he explained.
He said he spoke to USC President Colwick Wilson, who agreed to allow the campus drivers to be used in the exercise.
Forde said health regulations mean the buses can only hold 13 people at a time.
“We have three buses, so we are averaging 40 persons per day hopefully, starting from next week. We are doing our part in Tunapuna in order to ensure people are out to be vaccinated.”
“This will go on from July to August. Based on the numbers from the Ministry of Health, we are hoping the first dose, at least, will be out of the way by August.”
In a statement, Forde also responded to Pan Trinbago’s call to assist member bands most affected by the pandemic.
“Come Friday July 23, the MP and Pan Trinbago’s Eastern Region chairman, Anthony Walker, will distribute hampers to nine steelbands in the area.”
The distribution will take place at the Republic Bank Exodus Pan Theatre, Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna, from 10am.
The recipients will be Birdsong; Tunapuna Hill Tones; Tunapuna All Stars; Tunapuna TIPICA; Tunapuna Old Boys' Association; Fascinators Pan Symphony; Flamingoes Steel Orchestra; Revelation Institute for Performing Education (RIPE); and Republic Bank Exodus.
“The joint project is in keeping with Pan Trinbago’s recently established Social Prosperity Fund which seeks to provide tangible support and empowerment as well as meeting the pressing needs to vulnerable members of the steelband community.”
Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore said similar requests have been made to other MPs to help their community-based steelbands who depend on public gatherings for their survival.
“It is important to act now and provide tangible, practical support during these unsettling times,” she said. “This donation will help those in need.”