All out

BAD SIGN: Mersha Seaton arrived at the Queen’s Park Savannah Vaccine Centre yesterday to find a closed gate and a sign stating that there were no more vaccines available. She had travelled from Santa Cruz. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

That’s it!

Vaccines are no longer available at the five designated North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) vaccine sites while vaccines at the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) sites will be finished today.

These include Morvant, Barataria, Diego Martin and Carenage health centres as well as the mass site at the Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah.

This was confirmed yesterday by NWRHA chief executive officer Salisha Baksh who said the last vials were used yesterday at the Paddock.

However, this was unbeknownst to the public as many people showed up at these sites yesterday hoping to be vaccinated but left disappointed as they were turned away.

When the Express visited the Barataria Health Centre, there was a sign stating “No vaccine” and people were being told to make an appointment for another time by the one nurse stationed at the entrance of the health centre.

The nurse said: “We have no more vaccines. It finished yesterday. The ministry has not sent any more. We don’t know when we will get. You can call the numbers to make an appointment.”

She added that since yesterday morning she had to explain this to hundreds of people who showed up.

The scene was similar at the Morvant Health Centre where the Express observed several elderly men being turned away.

At 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the Morvant facility had stopped taking patients so persons showed up yesterday hoping for a second opportunity, to no avail.

The nurse at Morvant said: “None of the health centres in NWRHA have vaccines. They (Ministry of Health) ain’t send anymore.”

One elderly man said: “We ain’t get through. They give us a number to call to make an appointment because they have no more vaccines.”

When the Express visited the Paddock, one of the NWRHA’s healthcare worker said the last 250 people were vaccinated yesterday morning and no more vaccines will be administered.

She added that the last person was vaccinated at 11 a.m. yesterday and the Paddock had the final vials for the NWRHA.

Make appointments

Speaking with the Express via phone yesterday, Baksh said: “We’ve completed our vaccination today (Wednesday). That’s it.”

But when asked why this information wasn’t disseminated across the NWRHAs so that the public will be informed, Baksh said: “They can still make an appointment. They can call and give their names to be scheduled for another time.”

In the hunt to be vaccinated, some of the people who were turned away yesterday told the Express they would try other regional health authorities.

There are 29 vaccination sites located nationwide.

However, after being turned away from the Paddock and Barataria Health Centre, one woman said: “(The National) Racquet Centre only doing appointments, and St Helena Health Centre has no more vaccine.”

The National Racquet Centre of Trinidad and Tobago located in Tacarigua falls under the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA).

The St Helena Health Centre is part of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA).

However, other sites under NCRHA including St Joseph Enhanced Health Centre and Arima District Health Facility were still administering vaccines yesterday.

When the Express visited the Arima District Health Facility, patients said they were being serviced.

Several nurses and staff were seen communicating with people who were waiting to be called in to be vaccinated.

People told the Express they had not been waiting long and their appointments were on time.

Speaking with the Express via phone yesterday NCRHA chief executive officer Davlin Thomas said: “We just have a few remaining, Just have about 30 appointments and we’re doing that tomorrow. We did 1,645 today.”

Thomas added that 3,015 vaccines had been distributed in total.

As at 4 p.m. yesterday, the Ministry of Health said 55,259 people had received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 288 people were given their second dose.

In total the country received 75,600 vaccine doses, including 33,600 in a first tranche from COVAX, 40,000 donated from India and 2,000 as a gift from Barbados.

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