The Ministry of Health continued its pop-up vaccination drive on Friday at City Gate, Port of Spain, administering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson covid19 vaccine to morning commuters.
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh was at the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) bus terminal to greet commuters as they got their vaccines.
“This is what we are trying to do – go to people where they are,” he said. “The beauty about these pop-up drives is that you get one shot and you’re done.”
He said the ministry will be at a few malls on Friday as well.
“This is the first day of a series of events,” he said, adding the ministry will meet with the population at other locations where commuters congregate, such as the Croisee in San Juan. “We will meet you on your terms.”
He said there were two drives on Wednesday and Thursday in his St Joseph constituency, and there will be another on Sunday, in collaboration with Pan Trinbago.
Deyalsingh said in the coming days there should be above 500,000 fully vaccinated people in the population.
“We are giving people the information. People want further reassurance. People who are on the fence, we are giving them the information to bring them down…on the right side of the fence.
“We are giving them the information based on the feedback of what they are concerned about.”
He was pleased with the turnout at City Gate.
“I am very encouraged that bringing vaccines to people is a good strategy.”
He said he had not received any reports of negative reactions to the vaccine at the drives.
Deyalsingh also said the ministry has been consistently behind by about five to ten per cent in vaccination turnout over the past few months.
“We should be closer to 550,000 (vaccinated people) by now; we are about 520,000.
"But we are not giving up. We are going to every nook and cranny in this country to get people the information so they can make an informed decision.”
He said while the issue of herd immunity is still under discussion around the world, the ministry’s strategy is to get as many people vaccinated as possible.