Rain is believed to have put a damper on the public’s response to the ongoing covid19 vaccination drive by the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation (PDRC) and the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA).
The outreach programme, also referred to as the vaccination road trip, took place on Saturday from 9 am-3 pm at the Scott’s Mendez Shiva Mandir at Scott’s Road in Penal.
Only a few people were at the site to get their Johnson & Johnson and Sinopharm vaccines.
Vashti Ramsimair, one of the corporation's organisers, believed the rain might have prevented people from leaving their homes.
"There are no long lines, maybe due to the weather. This is our seventh drive, and today is the slowest we have had since we started in August. We chose this temple because it is spacious," Ramsumair said.
Another organiser, Naleenee Siew, agreed with Ramsumair, adding, "On average, about 200 people were vaccinated at each site per day."
Amanda Ramkissoon of Mendez Village in Siparia got her first jab of Sinopharm at the site, saying she had a baby boy two weeks ago.
"I did not want to take it during pregnancy. I had my first child, a son, two weeks ago. So I decided to take it today.
"I am feeling fine. As soon as I came, I got through fast. The service was great," she told Newsday.
Her father, Premchand Ramkissoon, said that parts of the low-lying areas usually flood whenever rain falls, so many people might have decided to stay indoors rather than go to the mandir for the vaccine.
He added, "I could have taken it (vaccine) long time ago. I make up my mind today to take it."
The PDRC/SWRHA drive has been in several municipalities, like the Barrackpore regional complex and the Rambert Community Centre in La Romaine.
On Friday, the Met Office forecast that sunshine would be interrupted by showers over a few areas, especially in Trinidad, on Saturday.
But the national vaccination drive has stalled, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh admitted recently.
On Saturday, during the Health Ministry's virtual media conference, SWRHA officials said they had to redeploy personnel from hospitals to deal with covid19 patients amid a surge in cases and deaths. The RHA has had to activate its emergency operation centres to support frontline health workers.
In its update on Saturday, the ministry reported 28 deaths, the highest daily toll ever, and 592 new cases.