NWRHA administers 1,224 J&J covid vaccines

FILE PHOTO: Boxes and vials of Johnson & Johnson covid19 vaccine. AP Photo –

CEO of the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) Salisha Baksh said 1,224 people have received the Johnson and Johnson covid19 vaccine through its vaccination outreach “One Shot and Done” programme.

Baksh was speaking at the Ministry of Health’s covid19 news conference on Monday.

“In an effort to make vaccines more available to the public, the Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the RHAs, launched outreach activities.”

The J&J single-dose initiative has been ongoing since September.

The last drive took place on Saturday and Sunday at the Croisee in San Juan where 189 people received the vaccine.

“This is a good number, but we were hoping to vaccinate more. When we do outreach, please avail yourself to be vaccinated.”

She said another drive took place on Saturday at the Diego Martin Community Centre where 131 people were vaccinated.

At the Brian Lara Promenade in Port of Spain, 251 were vaccinated over two days. “We were quite pleased with that number,” she said.

Baksh said the NWRHA noticed a trend, in the earlier part of September, of a decrease in people going for their first dose.

“After the announcement of the TT Safe Zone initiative, there was a noticeable increase and we are thankful for that.”

She said since September 27, there has been a significant increase in people receiving the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and returning for their second dose.

She said 5,247 children have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, through the NWRHA, and 4,992 have received their second dose.

“Those are really good numbers. We encourage parents to continue bringing their children, especially as more go out to school.”

Baksh also acknowledged World Mental Health Day, which was recognised on Sunday.

“The pandemic has had an impact on people’s mental health, especially healthcare workers, frontline workers, students, people living alone, people with pre-existing mental health conditions.”

She said help is available for those who need it at five mental health and wellness centres managed by the NWRHA. They are the Barataria, Pembroke Street, Petit Valley, Caranage, and Diego Martin wellness centres.

She said more information on the centres are available on the NWRHAs website.