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An elderly woman sits and waits in line outside the Couva District Hospital since 5.00 am to get her COVID-19 vaccine yesterday.

Hundreds of disgruntled pensioners again showed up yesterday morning outside district health facilities in Central Trinidad hoping to get selected for vaccinations.

By the end of the process, some called for the head of Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, whom they said should resign.

Dood Aliasgar, 66, said Deyalsingh is to be blamed for the present fiasco, after the first come, first serve vaccination process for the elderly and those with non-communicable diseases failed this week.

“He should resign long time. He fooling the people,” Aliasgar said.

Aliasgar, a resident of Waterloo, Carapichiama, said he went for three straight days to the Freeport Health Centre hoping to get selected for the vaccine. He said on Thursday, officials at the health centre took around 90 people.

“This is real stupidness. This remind me of the days when you used to go for your passport or American visa, the set of line, you had to line up the night before.”

He added, “You not getting the vaccine when you go inside, is a chit you will get and you have to come back later for the vaccine.”

Other pensioners complained that the alphabetical system was also not suitable.

A 67-year-old woman who wished not to be identified said, “The Minister of Health acts as if he does not know what to do. I wonder who advising him? They should give a preference to the elderly persons first. What alphabetical order has to do with this? I want to know if the virus does attack people in alphabetical order. I have pressure and sugar (referring to hypertension and diabetes) and I don’t know what to do.

“They are giving out 50 chits for vaccines, which means some people in the line would have to come back again on a next day and risk catching the disease. If the numbers go up, you know how it happen.”

At Couva, people started lining up at the break of dawn outside the Couva District Hospital.

Joseph Gonzales, 79, of Indian Trail, said he had been joining the lines since Wednesday and was hoping to get his first dose yesterday.

Gonzales also knocked the system.

“If they do it the right way it might work. If they say A alone (referring to people with surnames beginning with the letter A) come out, but it look like the whole alphabet came out.”

Hugh Austin, 65, a resident of California, left home at 5 am and arrived at 5.10 am. Austin said he was number 100 on Thursday and was blanked. He said he did not want to miss the boat again yesterday.

Around 5.25 am, police advised that only 50 people may be selected to get the vaccine and started counting out places up to 50.

However, the police advised people other than the chosen few to social distance and remain until the facility opened at 8 am in case there were additional vaccines available.