File: NWRHA Registered Nurse Taquiyyah Ali administers the J&J COVID-19 vaccine to San Juan resident Neshan Mohammed, during the NWRHA vaccination Community Outreach, at the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation, MTS Plaza, Aranguez.

The State of Emergency regulations broadened the medical personnel able to administer vaccines and with the State of Emergency ending yesterday, acting Attorney General Stuart Young on Tuesday piloted the Miscellaneous Provisions (2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Vaccination Personnel) Bill, which seeks to continue to allow that without the SoE.

“By revoking the State of Emergency so go the State of Emergency regulations, so we are taking the opportunity now at this stage to put into the parent pieces of legislation, the ability for certain persons who are trained in medical care and attention to be able to deliver vaccines, not only in the current instance of delivering COVID-19 vaccine but also any other vaccines as the Minister would prescribe,” he said.

“One thing we would have learned from this pandemic is that you never know what is coming around the corner,” he said.

“We don’t know when next we will need to have a mass vaccination drive and let us not let the legislation hold you back,” Young said.

“So we taking in front now,” he said.

The Bill allows for emergency ambulance personnel, medical technicians, paramedics, pharmacists, dentists, vets and veterinarian technicians to be able to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine or any other vaccine prescribed by the Minister of Health.

“There was one additional amendment to these provisions put in the original bill, where we added it to other vaccines,” Young said.

Under the new Bill, pharmacists acting under the supervision of a medical practitioner could also administer the vaccines.

Young said that one colleague from the Independent bench asked him if the legislation allows for persons to administer vaccines anywhere and about treating adverse reactions.

“Those are administrative issues,” Young said.

Young used the platform to plead with citizens to be vaccinated.

“The benefits are undeniable and scientifically proven,” he said.

This was the second reading of the legislation and the debate moved to the Committee Stage.