FLASHBACK - Happy workers from Off The Grill show their genuine vaccination cards after receiving the COVID-19 jabs at SAPA in July.

As the mass vaccination rollout for the Food and Beverage Sector continued for the second day yesterday, the public vaccination rollout phase at various health centres across the country also kicked off.

South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) CEO Dr Brian Armour assured they are prepared and ready to accommodate members of the public who want to get vaccinated at their health centres.

Noting that the SWRHA has over 30 health facilities across a vast geographic region from Icacos, to Moruga, to Tabaquite, he said they have been asking people to book their appointments online to avoid crowds and ensure a smooth flow.

With the public rollout, he said anyone, once over 18 years old and not pregnant, could take the jab.

However, he said members of the public with no access to online facilities could come to the centre to get an appointment.

“The public has been coming out pretty good so far. We have had very good feedback for the pre-registration, so we are very glad to see that the acceptance is still high at this time. We got several thousands of persons booking us for appointments.”

He also said the second dose rollout for the construction and local government sectors will take place at SAPA this weekend. Speaking at the Powergen facility in Penal, which is one of the two mass vaccination sites for the food and beverage sector, he said the turnout was high.

One of the doctors on the mass vaccination team, Dr Sandy Arthur, said yesterday saw about 1,600 people receiving vaccines – the highest number since this phase of the rollout began.

She said the next mass vaccination rollout targeting teachers, is expected to take place on Wednesday and Thursday.

At SAPA, tents were erected to accommodate the hundreds of people who came out. Venezuela national Anthony Godog, who sells burgers at Cross Crossing, San Fernando, said, “The vaccine is good for everybody.”

He said he is ready to return to work, as he has to earn an income to pay his rent and survive.

“Three months in the house. I need this,” he said.

Workers of the Off the Grill outlet also took the jab.

Giselle Williams said, “It is important and if you all know you want to work, you all are serious about your work, you want to keep your job, you have bills to pay you, have kids to mind, I would advise you guys to come out and take it and it is not a painful experience.”

On the legislation to make vaccinations mandatory, her co-worker Tatania Buckeridge said the Government will decide what is best for the population.

However, she said, “I feel it is important but it is also a personal decision, it is up to you. In order for the country to open up, a certain percentage of the nation has to be vaccinated. I think it is a good choice because you don’t know how your body will react if you catch COVID so you just have to protect yourself. Take whatever vaccine is available to you at the moment.”

The mass vaccination drive for this sector continues on Monday and Tuesday.