Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says the Government cannot do it alone in ensuring all citizens get vaccinated and made another plea for people to come forward and get vaccinated.
He made the comment as he thanked the Supermarket Association of T&T (SATT) for its mass vaccination efforts yesterday.
The minister paid a courtesy call to SATT’s mass vaccination site at Centre Pointe Mall in Chaguanas which has been a public/private partnership between SATT and the Ministry of Health.
Deyalsingh who advised people to be vaccinated said: “If not vaccines to save your lives then what? If not vaccines to open back the economy then what? If not vaccines to prevent you from going into the Intensive Care Unit which is not a pleasant experience then what? “
He added that people should not procrastinate but should be vaccinated sooner rather than later as this would help them put food on their tables, assist them with paying their rent and most importantly help the country return to some level of normalcy.
“How many of you want to have a third year of no Easter? How many of you want to have a year of no Divali? How many of you also want to have a third year of no weddings, no birthday parties, no anniversary parties?
“How many of you want to have a second year of no Christmas? Those are the simple things that we miss and I miss it,” Deyalsingh added.
The minister also asked how many more people must die when there is a solution via the availability of vaccines.
SATT’s President Rajiv Diptee who also spoke said the site was realised via close collaboration following which it enabled members of the public to easily access vaccines.
“This has been a possibility only because the private sector has been able to pull together to create this mass vaccination site,” Diptee explained.
He echoed similar sentiments like Deyalsingh that as vaccines have become more and more available every one ought to be vaccinated, adding that this is the “only real protection” against COVID-19.
“We have seen our loved ones be affected by this virus. We have urged all our supermarket staff, our colleagues in the business sector to get vaccinated because we want to get back to some level of normalcy.
“We want to get back to earning, we want to get back to work. We don’t want to live in fear anymore,” Diptee added.
He also noted that the site would have contributed to close to 50,000 vaccines.
Diptee also lauded the management of Centre Pointe Mall for allowing the use of its auditorium free of charge and also thanked SATT’s members who ensured the availability of the vaccines was made possible through financial efforts and otherwise.
According to Diptee, those vaccinated at the site yesterday included the elderly, market vendors, farmers, hearing, speech and the visually impaired.