Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy is pleased with the Ministry of Health's decision to utilise the Johnson & Johnson vaccines in three villages in her constituency.
On Saturday Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the Johnson & Johnson covid19 vaccine, Janssen, will go out to remote coastal and inland villages in Trinidad and Tobago. Among the areas include Parlatuvier, Charlotteville, and Speyside, all in Tobago East.
The rollout is expected to begin nationally on Wednesday.
Webster-Roy said, "I am very happy TT was able to access the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It presents an opportunity for people in rural communities who are unable to return for multiple doses – like Sinopharm and AstraZeneca.
"With this one-shot vaccine, it allows them to get vaccinated one day and be somewhat protected from the covid."
Tobago West MP Shamfa Cudjoe and Secretary of Health Tracy Davidson-Celestine recently lamented the high level of vaccine hesitancy on the island.
Davidson-Celestine promised a "house to house" campaign to address the issue.
Webster-Roy said, "I'm encouraging constituents to grasp the opportunity. I recognise in Tobago there is a lot of hesitancy because of some of the information coming through social media, as well as some persons because of religious beliefs.
"I want to assure the public that the vaccines are indeed safe."
The Government has only utilised vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Webster-Roy said people should trust the science.
"They are providing an opportunity for people to be better protected.
"I want to encourage those in the communities identified as part of the first round of Johnson & Johnson, to take the opportunity to be vaccinated."
She also pleaded with parents to carry their children – ages 12 to 18 – to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
She said this will go a long way into providing a layer of protection to return to school.
The Pfizer vaccine is the only WHO-approved vaccine for children 12 to 18 years old.
The Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development said as of 10 pm on Sunday, 17, 231 people in Tobago received at least one dose of a covid19 vaccine. It said 12,001 people received their full two doses.