Low turnout at Port of Spain covid19 vaccine sites Monday

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Construction workers, from left, Garvin Gould, Carissa Narine and Oronde Gooding show off their vaccination cards after receiving booster shots of a covid19 vaccine at the Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, Monday. – SUREASH CHOLAI

Very few public servants turned up to get vaccinated when Newsday visited vaccination sites in Port of Spain on Monday, just one week before Government is set to enforce a new workplace vaccination policy for the public sector.

On December 18, the Prime Minister announced that government’s new public-sector safe-zone policy would require public servants be vaccinated against covid19 by mid-January or be furloughed.

Winston Primus, 80, left, gets help from a relative after receiving his booster shot of a covid19 vaccine at the Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Monday. – SUREASH CHOLAI

On Monday, at the Government Campus Plaza, Richmond Street, there were fewer than 12 people there to be vaccinated. Staff and volunteers said, despite having low numbers and free time, they were not authorised to make any official statements to the media.

At the Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah, there were more elderly and private-sector workers turning up to be vaccinated than public-sector workers who themselves were few in number.

One Maraval man who identified himself as Gregory said, “I’m not a public servant, but I wanted to get my booster because I’ll be flying out soon.”

He described the process as quick and hassle-free. He said he was in and out of the vaccination site within 30 minutes.

Doris Martin of San Juan said she was turned away from getting her booster. Martin who got her second shot in October, said she was disappointed when the nurse told her it was too soon for her to get the booster.

Martin said, “I thought I would have gotten through. With all the talk around the possibility of losing jobs I thought they would be doing everything they could to administer shots to those who turned up. I already took time off and spent money to come down here. Who is going to pay for me to do this a second time?”

Rodriguez, who brought his mother and grandmother for their vaccines, said, “I took the day off to bring my mother and granny to get their shots because it is too much of (a) risk for them to be travelling.

“The numbers are only going up. So I had to do what is right for my own peace of mind. I have no fears about my mother, but Granny is getting down in age and already has her health problems, so you know it’s an even bigger risk for her.”