Mayor of Port-of-Spain, Joel Martinez, receives his COVID-19 vaccine. (Image courtesy Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government)

More than 6,000 essential workers in the local government system are much closer to full protection against COVID-19 as they receive their shots during the country’s current vaccination drive.

The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government reports in a release issued today, that many local government officials received their shots during the roll out of the second phase of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, for frontline essential workers.

Senator Kazim Hosein, Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, says it is important that essential workers within the corporations are vaccinated.

“I am very grateful that our essential workers within Local Government throughout the 14 municipalities will be recipients of these vaccines, so that they can continue to ensure safety and security to all citizens across our beloved country,” the minister said, as he thanked his Cabinet colleague, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been provided to the population in phases. During Phase One, those at the highest risk and highest exposure to the virus were vaccinated, namely healthcare workers and persons aged 60 years and older with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Essential workers in the local government system are receiving their jabs during Phase Two.

“This vaccine is important because it helps to create antibodies to a protein on the virus surface, to reduce the chance of contracting the virus and the chance of severe infection. This allows the immune system to attack the virus and fight off infection once exposed,” the release from the ministry explained.

The local government ministry also is reminding citizens to be safe and to follow all Public Health Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

“Follow the three W’s—Wear your mask, Wash your hands and Watch your distance!” the ministry urges.