Dr Lackram Bodoe

Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe has criticised the Ministry of Health for a lack of proper planning in the rollout of its national vaccination programme.

He said the rollout this week at the nation’s health centres was bungled and potentially life-threatening.

In a media release on Saturday, Bodoe said dentists have been stopped from assisting as volunteer vaccinators in the nation’s mass vaccination drive according to a letter sent to them by the Ministry of Health dated June 11.

The reason given in the correspondence to the volunteers is “circumstances beyond our control.”

According to Bodoe, “My understanding is that the Ministry of Health officials have suddenly realised that the current law will not provide indemnity for any issues that may arise from dentists and other volunteers giving jabs.”

He said this comes after several dentists and other volunteers, in response to an invitation from the Ministry of Health, attended a vaccination training programme on June 1 after which they were allowed to give vaccinations at the various venues throughout the nation.

Bodoe said he was told the rollout of over 7,000 vaccinations at the Divali Nagar site last Sunday was facilitated in part by many of these said volunteers and it was an event attended and sanctioned by Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh.

“It has been well established that a rapid vaccination programme is our only way out of this pandemic in T&T. The delay in obtaining adequate numbers of vaccines would have left the Ministry sufficient time to prepare a proper vaccination rollout programme. On top of the bungled and potentially life-threatening rollout witnessed at various health centres throughout the country, we are now presented with another setback due to lack of proper planning.”