Newsday spoke to a few students at the Paddock and Hasely Crawford Stadium vaccination sites in Port of Spain on Wednesday.
“We were excited to get it, if anything,” said 15-year-old Mayah Mohammed, who was at the Paddock with her mother Salina Amow and little brother Andrew Mohammed. “I did my research. Everything has side effects, but it is for the greater good and I thought it was the best decision.”
Her 12-year-old brother, however, had some reservations. “The virus isn’t gone. It’s still there and still killing people every day,” he said, adding that if he were to go back to school, he feels a little safer having been vaccinated.
Amow said she had no reservations about having her children be vaccinated. “At the end of the day, the vaccine is here to help us. Same as if you’re going to the grocery or anywhere else. The risk is there. This is to prevent severe repercussions.”
A teacher, who requested anonymity, told Newsday although she had two minds about being vaccinated at first, she also feels safer having been vaccinated.
“At some point, we have to go back out. I think it’s time for us to get back out there.”
A 20-year-old university student told Newsday she too was sceptical about getting vaccinated, but was persuaded by a friend Wednesday morning to go get vaccinated together.
“I’ve always been sceptical about it. I still am, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. My mother works at a covid19 centre. I called her and said, ‘Hey. Guess where I am?’” she joked.
“I am in my final year at the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) and I’m dealing with a lot more people (than secondary school), plus international students. With the delta variant, I don’t think physical classes are the safest option.
“Even though I don’t like online, it’s the safer option for now, until more people take the vaccine as an added layer of protection.”
Her 17-year-old friend said he is about to start sixth form and feels better knowing he is vaccinated, should he return to school.
“Going back to physical school has its good and bad. If they do mandatory classes for forms four, five, and six, even standard five, I think they can go back. But for everyone, it makes no sense.”
At the Hasely Crawford Stadium, another 15-year-old student described online school as “rough.”
He said he is ready to return to the physical classroom and feels more comfortable being out now that he’s vaccinated.
His father told Newsday he hopes covid19 cases continue to decrease before students return to class.
“The turnout (for vaccines) seems pretty good. Hopefully it continues. I think it’s a commendable effort.”