Swine flu (H1N1) vaccines became available at most health centres across the country yesterday, but there was no rush from the public to get vaccinated.
At the Barataria Health Centre, it was business as usual. A nurse told the Express the vaccines were delivered but are only being administered on Thursdays. She said only a few people turned up on Thursday, seeking to be vaccinated.
At the El Socorro Health Centre, a nurse confirmed a batch of vaccines was delivered, but there was no rush there either. She said an “average amount of people” had been vaccinated.
At the George Street Health Centre in Port of Spain, the Express was told a few people had turned up to get the vaccine, but were turned away because none was yet available.
“It arrived at the head office and we have to go and collect it,” a nurse said. “We expect to get it today and it will be available here from next week. Only one or two people came today to ask for it.”
The Ministry of Health is currently engaged in what it says is a “robust influenza vaccination drive” for the 2020 flu season.
Confirm vaccination schedule
One hundred thousand doses of the vaccine have been delivered to health centres and hospitals, and are available to the public free of charge.
However, the health centres are advising the public to confirm the vaccination days and times, as some health centres only do the swine flu vaccinations one day per week.
The public is also being advised that there is no need to rush for vaccines, as specific groups of people are being given priority, including the elderly, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, babies and young children.
Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh has said there is no need for healthy adults to get the vaccine, as the virus will not affect them as severely.
Trinidad and Tobago has recorded seven swine flu-related deaths for 2019 thus far.
The Ministry of Health has said despite the deaths, there is no swine flu outbreak in T&T.