Accelerated vaccination drive begins today with the food and beverage sector

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Accelerated vaccination drive begins today with the food and beverage sector

With the arrival of 800,000 Sinopharm vaccines on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health intends to roll out an accelerated programme from today, aimed at vaccinating 20,000 to 25,000 persons per day.

However, special emphasis will be made to vaccinate those in the food and beverage sector.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, speaking at Wednesday’s MOH media briefing, said a number of distribution streams will be brought on board to allow persons access to the shots and walk-ins will not be facilitated.

Deyalsingh said other sectors involved include religious bodies, Red Cross, teachers, agricultural workers, public transport and persons on the CDAP list.

He estimates that this programme will run until the end of September by which time a total of 600,000 persons could be fully vaccinated.

Deyalsingh said “In the past we used the Manufacturing and Supermarket Associations…We are now deepening that with the food and beverage sector.”

He said groups including the Chamber of Commerce, churches, mosques, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have all agreed to contribute names of candidates to receive the vaccine.

“Trinidad and Tobago Association of Retired Persons (TTARP); the Red Cross; Ministry of Education, with 10,000 teachers; TT Retired Nurses Association (TTRNA), with 10,000 names; and the non-communicable diseases (NCD) Alliance – these are the databases we are using to reach out to people in a structured orderly, manner.”

Deyalsingh noted however, “While everything is a choice, we ask people to make the right choice,” he said. “We want businesses to open, but the onus for management of this disease has now shifted from government-imposed positions, because now we have the vaccines, and if we vaccinate, some state of normalcy can be achieved.”

Deyalsingh said 371,987 shots – first and second doses – have been administered to date, with no fatalities in fully vaccinated people.