CORONA__use_covid19

Elderly people faced vaccine rejection again at health centres around the country yesterday.

On the third day of the Covid-19 vaccination walk-in drive, which only facilitated people 60 years and over with surnames from F to J yesterday, many were left disappointed and frustrated. At the St Joseph Enhanced Health Centre, the Arima District Health Facility and the Arouca Health Centre, only the first 50 people were vaccinated though several hundred showed up.

When the Express visited the Arima facility, there were more than 100 elderly people already lined up before 5.30 a.m.

When they arrived, security officers began adding their names to a list.

At around 7 a.m., two healthcare workers began calling the names of people on the list, giving each person an application form with a number assigned to it and allowed them to sit under a tent at the entrance of the centre.

Those persons without numbers were asked to leave and return next week.

One elderly person responded: “This is unfair! How could you treat old people like this.”

Some told the Express they were confused by the process.

Others said this was another time they had failed to receive the vaccine because they also came to the health centre on Wednesday when the first-come, first-serve process began but had no luck despite waiting for hours.

Additionally, many said they also attempted to make appointments via WhatsApp but were yet to get a response.

The scene was similar at the Arouca and La Horquetta health centres, and persons said they had to wait longer for vaccinations to begin at Arouca because there was a clinic happening simultaneously.

Even fewer people were vaccinated at the Maloney Health Centre yesterday because healthcare workers only allowed 20 people to get jabs.

Other individuals who showed up found a locked gate and were informed by security officers posted at the entrance that the health centre had received its capacity for the day.

And at the St Joseph Health Facility, only the first 50 people were given numbers and received vaccines.

Those who could not get vaccines were told to “try next week” or “listen to the press conference to hear if there were any changes”.

Some people told the Express they hoped that Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and his team changed the alphabetical system because it was not working, and 50 vaccines per day was not enough. “That is just ridiculous! How that making any sense?” one elderly man said.

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Trinidad and Tobago had received a gift of 100,000 Sinopharm vaccines previously from the Chinese government, bringing the total to 300,000 so far. A plane touched down at Piarco International Airport yesterday with the vaccines.

The online mockery generated from a social media post from the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago announcing that it had donated 80 vials of Covid-19 vaccine to this country was reported on international news site Business Insider.

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