THA Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Tracy Davidson-Celestine said her division is looking to ramp up its vaccination drive in September.
At last week's news conference hosted by her division, Davidson-Celestine said the division has a community drive planned for September to vaccinate at least 4,000-6,000 people.
“We are hoping to achieve this target by the end of this month and so our emphasis here is on vaccination. The focus has to be on the solution, and the solution is getting as many persons (as possible) vaccinated, because even though we increase capacity at the ICU, or in terms of those who would need high-dependency arrangements, there will be some time when we cannot add additional capacity – because we just don’t have the human resources.
"When I talk about human resources, I’m really talking here about members of staff, so we have to try to ensure that we get as many Tobagonians as is possible vaccinated, and we have been spreading the information to you, the members of the public, in terms of the benefits to be had from becoming vaccinated.”
She said currently, Tobago’s adult population is 45,000 and a further 6,000 residents are between 12 and 18. Hence the division is aiming to vaccinate 51,000 people.
“We know we would have a challenge vaccinating all of them, so we are aiming to...vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the total population of the 51,000 – this means we have to vaccinate at least 36,000 persons. The good news is that at this moment, we have vaccinated 18,555 of those thousands of persons and so we are at about 53 per cent of the targeted population, but we still have a long way to go."
The secretary also appealed to Tobagonians to adhere to the public health regulations.
“We’re still seeing large amounts of persons gathering at things like birthday parties; we’re still seeing persons gathering in respective numbers in terms of funerals; and a number of activities are being had which, at the end of the day, promotes socialisation and more so becomes the catalyst for the spread of covid19 virus – which is what we are trying to prevent at this time.”
She also alluded to vaccine hesitancy on the island, noting that as of September 1, 53 per cent of the targeted population had been vaccinated. She said that 18,555 people, including 1,553 children between 12 and 18 have received their first dose of a vaccine. There are 13,658 people fully vaccinated.
She said testing for the delta variant continues but although the variant is in Trinidad, there is no confirmation of its presence in Tobago.