Walk-in jabs at all Tobago covid19 vaccine sites

Regional nurse Carica Douglas checks the blood pressure of a woman before she is cleared for the Sinopharm vaccine at the drive-through vaccination site at Shaw Park on Saturday. - Photo by David Reid
Regional nurse Carica Douglas checks the blood pressure of a woman before she is cleared for the Sinopharm vaccine at the drive-through vaccination site at Shaw Park on Saturday. - Photo by David Reid

Kathy-Ann Greenidge-Ottley, primary care nursing manager at the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA), has said appointments are no longer necessary to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, health authorities are still pleading for Tobagonians to come out and be vaccinated.

Speaking with Newsday on Wednesday, Greenidge-Ottley said two health centres have been added to the vaccination sites.

“All our sites are now walk-in sites," she added. "We have started in Les Coteaux, we have started in Mason Hall. So there are no barriers.

“We have vaccines available now – remember before we didn’t have as much vaccines available as now and then the ministry had (put) a hold on who we could have vaccinated – healthcare workers, essential workers, persons 60 and over and those under 60 with NCDs."

But now, she said, "With the larger shipment of vaccines, the minister opened the vaccines to anybody except pregnant women and children. Hence the decision to open up all our sites as walk-ins.”

She said to date, over 600 people have been vaccinated at the inaugural drive-through site at Shaw Park Complex carpark in Scarborough, which opened last Saturday and will run for six days.

“For the past three days, we have vaccinated 634 persons with first doses and seven persons with a second dose.

“What we’re seeing on the drive-through, persons making two and three trips and that is excellent.”

Just after midday on Wednesday, she said over 180 people had been vaccinated for the day.

“We have a rush in the morning, we have a midday rush, and we have a 4pm rush. So the in-between periods are kind of slow. But now I can safely say that we're had at least 180 people vaccinated for the day already.”

She added: “People are coming, and what we are seeing is that the people who are coming are the hesitant people – the people who just get up and decide that they want to get their vaccines today – those are the people that we’re seeing coming.”

She said all will be welcomed.

"It doesn’t matter how you come, we have clients that are even walking into the drive-through – none shall be missed. We are vaccinating walk-ins and all.”

With the target set at 45,000, she said to date, 14,127 Tobagonians have received their first dose of a covid19 vaccine, and 9,871 are fully vaccinated.

“The 14,000 represents 31 per cent of our target and 23 per cent of our population. The 9,000 represents 22 per cent of our target, meaning 22 per cent of our target population is fully vaccinated, or 16.5 per cent of our population, with both doses."

The target number is 45,000 people, she said.

With the confirmed presence of the gamma (Brazil) variant on the island, she appealed to Tobagonians to get vaccinated.

“I am encouraging the public, come and be immunised, come and get your vaccines.

“I am asking Tobagonians – please, this is a very serious time – wear your mask, wash your hands, social distance or physical distance and take your vaccine.

"Let us work together to get rid of this virus on our island, so that we would be able to enjoy one another again and socialise and shop and go to the grocery in peace, go to church in peace. Come on, let us rally together.”

She pointed out that Tobago is dependent on tourism.

"And until we make Tobago safe, we need to vaccinate and get rid of this virus. We’re on an island. With the restrictions in place, there isn’t really much you can do: we can’t go to the beach, we can’t go to restaurants which we’re accustomed going for our little Sunday brunches.

"Let people come and vaccinate so the island can open back up properly and people can feel safe once again.”

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