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Members of the public wait to reveive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Chaguanas Health Centre, yesterday. 6/9/21

Shastri Boodan

There was an early morning rush for the COVID-19 vaccine in central Trinidad yesterday.

Members of the public complained that the system to deal with walk-in clients was not well organised.

People had to squeeze together in some lines at the Chaguanas Health Centre while hundreds were turned away at Couva.

At the UTT Chaguanas only people with appointments were being attended to.

Many showed up expecting to get vaccinated without having a previous appointment but were turned away.

Elderly people and their relatives also complained that they were made to line up even though they had problems walking.

A 66-year old woman, of Charlieville, fell on the side of the road outside the UTT Campus while she was walking to the facility.

She had to be assisted by a member of the media until she could get a relative to take her inside the facility with a vehicle.

At Chaguanas the chaos continued.

Dawn Lagley, 50, a geriatric caregiver for a 82- year Chaguanas woman, said she was disappointed with the system .

Langley said, “The only took 200 people for the vaccine. Why would they then invite members of the public to come for vaccines. I was here very early and there were hundreds of people here, some people were breaking the line, there was no social distancing. Then they told us that only persons over 60 would be vaccinated and to come back. They didn’t say when to come back. I deal with an elderly person every day and I don’t want to put this person at risk. As a caregiver I am also told by others in my profession that they are getting a hard time. ”

Keiron Alexander, 42, of Claxton Bay, said he was blanked at Chaguanas because he did not have a letter from a doctor stating he has an underlying medical condition.

“I work at a supermarket in Claxton Bay, I don’t know why I have to see a doctor and get a paper stating I have a medical condition. They said come in today.”

Deosaran Jagroo, a resident of Couva, said only 100 people were taken at Couva for inoculation.

Jagroo, a resident of Brechin Castle, Couva, said he was disappointed.

“ People was here from this morning. I just waiting to see if thing might change. I cant believe they are giving out 100 vaccines a day, that is madness, when they will finish.”

Ramchand Rabal Maraj, the head of the Couva Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, said the chaos could turn into a super spreader event.

Rajbal Maraj said he received several calls from residents who showed up without appointments and was blanked

“That has encouraged hundreds of people here who were not following social distancing protocols. There should not be any total walk in by members of the public but it should be done by age, an alphabetical system or some other measure to regulate the flow of people.”