General Manager Primary Care Services, TRHA, Dr Roxanne Mitchell.

The Tobago House of Assembly’s(THA) health delivery arm, the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) has received 200 of the 2,000 vaccines gifted to this country by the Barbados Government.

The vaccines arrived in Tobago on February 18 and the first of two doses will be given to first responders today.

This is according to the authority’s General Manager of Primary Health Care Services Dr Roxanne Mitchell.

Speaking during the TRHA’s COVID-19 vaccine awareness campaign, which began on Tobago Channel 5 yesterday, she said the first dose would be given at the Scarborough Health Centre.

She told the morning show host-Deryck Brathwaite (Brother B) frontline doctors and nurses were invited to list their names for the vaccines. She gave the assurances the vaccines are safe.

“Those persons in those key areas such as accident and emergency, anaesthetics and ICU, the persons in charge of the green room, Tobago Rehabilitation and Empowerment Center (TREC), and the allied agencies, surrounding the treatment of persons who were deemed COVID positive.”

Dr Mitchell said if first responders do not take the vaccine then second and third responders, who want it, will be accommodated.

She says the health system is ready to treat anyone who may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

She said the vaccines would be given at the Scarborough, Roxborough, and Canaan Health Centres where there are crash carts.

“The crash cart is opened when you have the life-threatening event like cardiorespiratory. We have the medications that can jump-start the heart and we can intubate you to ensure that you breathe.

She said the steps are precautionary, as with all vaccines.

“Any life-threatening reaction will take place within the first 10-15 mins. Beyond that, for half an hour, we monitor you. So you get the shot, you have a seat, we observe you. Beyond that, we give you your second appointment date, and we send you home. We will have to staff that will call you every day or WhatsApp you choose to communicate with us.”

She said people might experience a low-grade fever, tiredness, sniffles, tummy aches, and redness at the injection site. She also said some persons might experience tummy aches.

She said more vaccines would arrive in Tobago next week, and other first and second responders will be vaccinated. As more vaccines arrive, persons with comorbidities will be vaccinated, Dr Mitchell said.