Covid-19 vaccine

waiting their turn: A group of people wait in line to take the Covid-19 vaccine at the St Joseph Enhanced Health Centre yesterday. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

Dear Covid-19 Vacci­nation Management Committee:

You’re aware we’re in a life-and death-situation, especially for the most vulnerable in our society. After all, you’re the ones who have been telling us this for nearly a year and a half.

You’ve had all that time to perfect the vaccination roll-out plan. You could have easily looked at what the rest of the world was doing to decipher what worked and what didn’t.

You’ve had billions of taxpayers’ dollars at your disposal. With little or no accountability, you’ve dipped into our Heritage and Stabilisation Fund and taken loans to fight the war on this virus.

You’ve had a mostly supportive population that’s trying its best to adhere to Covid-19 protocols while waiting patiently on the arrival of vaccines.

Speaking of the population: they’re weary. They’re tired. They’re broken. They’re frustrated. They’re scared. They’re desperate.

And yet they’re trying their best to get jabs in their arms, in the hope of seeing the back of this global pandemic.

You had one job. Your job was to give the jab! That’s it. So please explain to the population what is the excuse now for the fiascos we’ve been witnessing so far?

Steven Valdez

via e-mail


The initiation of a Commission of Enquiry into the Government’s management of Covid-19, for which Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is so passionately clamouring, would be instructive if it presented an opportunity for the people of Trinidad and Tobago to hear from her just how she would have managed this health crisis had she been in charge.

The hush-hush arrival of a “small donation” of vials of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, flown in and apparently hand-delivered by courier to the Ministry of National Security, raises more questions than the number of vials involved.

I am repeatedly asked by various stakeholders whether Covid-19 vaccination could be made mandatory, so today I offer some initial thoughts.

This is not a clear-cut legal question and there are good arguments on both sides. There is no law, precedent or policy which governs the matter at present. Labour law, public health and human rights issues intermingle and ultimately, what is reasonable and in the majority interest would likely prevail.

I hope the Government considers giving a booster shot of the Sinopharm vaccine if supplies are available to this country. Dr Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, said T&T will receive 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China this week.

Did the staff at the health centres know only 50 persons could have been be vaccinated per day? When they realised this, did they not think to register the names and telephone numbers of the other elderly citizens already in line from 5.30 a.m. who were sent home when the vaccinations ran out?

It takes living and working outside of Trinidad and Tobago to realise how different and special we are.

We take it for granted that God is Trinbagonian. Our version of God is also every single pundit, every imam, every Baptist leader and all Anglican, Catholic and small church leaders. In our lively politics, whosoever leads either the People’s National Movement (PNM) or the United National Congress (UNC) is of immense personal importance in a country dominated by the descendants of former slaves and indentured workers.