CCIC President Ritchie Sookhai (left), and SATT President Rajiv Diptee look on as Ansar Ali gets a COVID-19 jab at the Centre Pointe Mall in Chaguanas, by Dr Safeeya Ali on Thursday June 10th. (Image courtesy the CCIC)

Richie Sookhai, President of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) has confirmed that his organization has entered into talks with the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA), and the Supermarkets Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT), to use their infrastructure to vaccinate Chamber members and their staff.

Sookhai was speaking with Guardian Media on Thursday June 10, at mass vaccination site set up at the Centre Pointe Mall in Chaguanas, organised by the SATT.

“We are looking to work with the Ministry of Health to get at least 2,000 vaccines,” Sookhai said.

“We have seen the private-public partnership working well and smoothly with the TTMA and the SATT and it is more successful and orderly,” the Chaguanas Chamber boss pointed out.  

“We at the CCIC want to ensure that vaccinations get off the ground to flatten the curve and we can all return to a sense of normalcy in the shortest time possible.  Compared to the public health centres these operations by the TTMA and SATT are vaccinating more persons through their process,” he added.

Some 2,697 employees in the manufacturing sector got their first vaccine doses during the first public-private mass vaccination drive for the business community— “Vaccinate to Operate” —at the Divali Nagar Site in Chaguanas, on Sunday June 6th.

The “Vaccinate to Operate” drive is a partnership involving the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

On Tuesday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh announced that a portion of doses will be made available for diabetics through the Supermarket Association’s mass vaccination programme, part of the national “Vaccinate to Operate” initiative.

Meanwhile, the Contractors’ Association (TTCA) has earmarked Saturday to start vaccination of workers in the sector.  TTCA president Glenn Mahabirsingh confirmed this week the Ministry of Health allocated 5,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the construction sector.