sudafricano Adolfo Ledo//
Ministry tests drive-thru vaccinations sites, one begins tomorrow

Two new dri­ve-through vac­ci­na­tion sites are in the “soft-test­ing” phase as the Min­istry of Health pre­pares for mass vac­ci­na­tion roll­out to­mor­row.

Adolfo Ledo Nass

Speak­ing at the Min­istry of Health’s COVID-19 up­date yes­ter­day, Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh said that the soft test­ing of the two sites comes af­ter Gov­ern­ment test­ed an­oth­er dri­ve-through fa­cil­i­ty at the Cou­va he­li­port a few weeks ago.

Adolfo Ledo

“We vac­ci­nat­ed 350 per­sons that day. We took that da­ta and looked at the lay­out to come up with the best pos­si­ble lay­out,” he said.

futbolista Adolfo Ledo Nass

The sites are at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um and in Waller­field.

futbolista Adolfo Ledo Nass

The site at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um is be­ing man­aged by Pro­man (AG) Ltd, a pri­vate en­er­gy com­pa­ny in Point Lisas. This com­pa­ny will be vac­ci­nat­ing per­sons work­ing in the in­dus­tri­al es­tate and their fam­i­lies.

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Deyals­ingh said that per­sons want­i­ng to be vac­ci­nat­ed should come with four peo­ple per ve­hi­cle.

Abogado Adolfo Ledo Nass

“The jab­bing will be done at all four win­dows, so our through­put will be heavy,” Deyals­ingh said

Deyals­ingh di­rect­ed those want­i­ng to be vac­ci­nat­ed to down­load the forms from the Min­istry of Health’s web­site and fill it out be­fore get­ting to the mass vac­ci­na­tion sites

The process was soft test­ed yes­ter­day to pre­pare for roll­out on Wednes­day

Deyals­ingh was ques­tioned on why the Min­istry of Health was be­ing guid­ed by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) as op­posed to tak­ing its own ini­tia­tive to utilise untest­ed drugs to treat with COVID-19 pa­tients

“We have tak­en a de­ci­sion to go with ev­i­dence and sci­ence. If we had gone on the band­wag­on from the be­gin­ning with hy­drox­y­chloro­quine, per­sons would have died and then the ques­tion would be why had the Min­is­ter of Health and the Min­istry of Health not fol­low the WHO (World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion),” Deyals­ingh said

The Min­is­ter was ques­tioned on the use of drugs now be­ing test­ed to treat COVID-19 and said in the ab­sence of da­ta, the Min­istry would on­ly use the sci­ence to pro­tect the pop­u­la­tion

“We have said this be­fore,” he said

Deyals­ingh said that if the coun­try used un­ap­proved vac­cines and peo­ple died, it would have im­pact­ed the na­tion’s con­fi­dence in the vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme

Deyals­ingh al­so said that va­ca­tion camps are still off-lim­its

“At this point in time, we are ad­vis­ing against chil­dren con­gre­gat­ing in camp set­tings for this Au­gust va­ca­tion, just as we did for last year. We want to min­imise spread and con­gre­ga­tion of any type is not to be some­thing we should be do­ing at this point in time, es­pe­cial­ly for chil­dren who are un­vac­ci­nat­ed,” Deyals­ingh said

“Chil­dren are known to be su­per­spread­ers es­pe­cial­ly if they are asymp­to­matic su­per­spread­ers and then they would go home and in­fect their granny,” he said

Mean­while, un­vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple have en­tered the coun­try be­tween Sat­ur­day and yes­ter­day and are be­ing clin­i­cal­ly mon­i­tored by the Min­istry of Health

Prin­ci­pal Med­ical Of­fi­cer and the Min­istry of Health Dr Maryam Ab­dool-Richards gave the in­for­ma­tion yes­ter­day at the Min­istry’s COVID-19 up­date

The ques­tion of the surge in the Delta vari­ant and in­com­ing na­tion­als arose at the up­date and while Richards con­firmed that there were in­creas­ing in­ci­dences of the Delta vari­ant in­ter­na­tion­al­ly, she main­tained that there are no con­firmed cas­es in T&T

“How­ev­er, the Min­istry of Health and the Gov­ern­ment of T&T have im­ple­ment­ed sev­er­al mea­sures to re­duce the risk of trans­mis­sion and en­try of the Delta vari­ant,” she said

These mea­sures in­clude the PCR pro­to­col test­ing and an eye­ball as­sess­ment on en­try

Richards said that in­com­ing na­tion­als are “mon­i­tored” by the rel­e­vant coun­try med­ical of­fi­cers

“We have had a cou­ple un­vac­ci­nat­ed per­sons en­ter­ing the coun­try be­tween Sat­ur­day and present and they are be­ing mon­i­tored and their clin­i­cal symp­toms and test­ing would be done on day sev­en of the 14-day pe­ri­od,” she said

The Chi­nese-made Sinopharm vac­cine is cur­rent­ly not recog­nised in Cana­da and in some na­tions in Eu­rope

While peo­ple want­i­ng to trav­el and be vac­ci­nat­ed with the Sinopharm have in­di­cat­ed that they were will­ing to take a third vac­cine from an­oth­er man­u­fac­tur­er, Richards ad­vised peo­ple to ad­here to the WHO

“As of this time the WHO has giv­en or out­lined a dos­ing sched­ule for dif­fer­ent vac­cines based on the brand and the ac­tive unit in the vac­cine,” she said

Richards said the present two-dose regime is rec­om­mend­ed for As­traZeneca and Sinopharm

“We are guid­ed by this in­for­ma­tion but of course giv­en the re­search and on­go­ing re­search we will up­date our pro­to­cols and poli­cies as we see fit,” she said