First-jab recipients: ‘I don’t think we have a choice’

People line up at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts to receive their covid19 vaccine on Monday. - Photo by Lincoln Holder
People line up at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts to receive their covid19 vaccine on Monday. - Photo by Lincoln Holder

The resumption of in-house dining at restaurants on Monday motivated Kevaughn Bernard to get vaccinated with her two daughters Kyla Figaro, 17, and Kya Figaro, 14.

They were among just a few people who turned up at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) mass vaccination site in San Fernando on Monday for their first Pfizer jab.

When Newsday visited the site, Bernard told Newsday the family decided to get vaccinated together because they wanted to experience dining in a restaurant as a family again.

Apart from dining, Kya is a form two student and Bernard wants her to return to school physically given she may be able to do so soon.

During her contribution to the budget debate on October 8, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said forms one to three students who are vaccinated will be allowed to return to physical school in a few weeks if all goes well.

Princes Town resident Angela Ali didn’t want to get vaccinated but felt she had no other option.

Ali told Newsday, “I didn’t really want to take the vaccine, but I don’t think we have a choice right now because you need to take it to get out there.”

Asked if she felt this way because of the “safe zone” policy, Ali said that was not the case.

She explained, “No, I don’t particularly go to those places, maybe a restaurant off and on.

“But what I do have is grandkids and they will have to go out to school soon.

“Very soon they’ll have a vaccine for children under 12 and I’ll have to be the one to drop my grandchildren to school. I know I’ll have to be vaccinated to do that.”

One Marabella woman, who did not want to be identified, also didn’t want to get vaccinated.

But she felt she no longer had the choice given the list of places requiring proof of vaccination is growing.

She told Newsday, “It’s not because of restaurants I’m getting vaccinated because I’m very happy eating at home.

“Even if I’m vaccinated and I go to a restaurant, I know I can still get it (covid19) and carry it back to my children at home.

“I just feel like it’s no longer a choice, but I know the only difference is I won’t be hospitalised easily.”

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