Faced with the threat of Omicron, the latest COVID-19 variant, hundreds of people came out to the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts to get their booster vaccines on Monday. Heavy rainfall did not deter people who stood socially distanced in a line that snaked around the building.

The SAPA team worked assiduously to ensure that the process was orderly, ensuring that pensioners were well-taken care of. Many who came out were among the first batch of people who were given the Astra Zeneca vaccine back in May this year.

Among those waiting in line was Frank Ragoonanansingh who said he got COVID-19 after becoming vaccinated. “I know that vaccinations work because the vaccine saved my life when I got COVID this year. I want to make sure that I get my booster,” he said.
Thalia Hanoomansingh also called on citizens to get vaccinated to save themselves and their families.

“I want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and to protect Trinidad and Tobago,” Hanoomansingh said. She explained that vaccinations were the only way that T&T could get back to normal. Dale Mulchan said despite the risks posed by the vaccines, he was confident that the reward of life was better than the risk of getting minor symptoms associated with the vaccine.

Asked whether he supported mandatory vaccines, Mulchan said this was a personal choice but his view was that everyone should choose to become vaccinated.
Alexandria Seenath of La Romaine said the threat of the Omicron variant was enough to convince her to take her booster. “Because of the recent outbreak of Omicron, I know that getting this booster will provide me with 75 per cent protection from contracting the virus,” she added.

Frank Prentice also said the vaccine was the only way to fight off the virus.
The national COVID-19 vaccine booster programme will run until January 7, 2022.
Everyone who is fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, and Johnson and Johnson are encouraged to visit 17 mass vaccination sites to get their boosters.

Those who got Astra Zeneca will get the Pfizer booster. Citizens must walk with their vaccination cards and a form of identification to get their booster shots depending on the date of their second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or full dose for those with Johnson and Johnson.

Reporter: RADHICA DE SILVA