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Members of the public wait outside the Scarborough Health Centre for the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday,

Loyse Vincent

The Magdalena Grand Hotel will be used as a temporary vaccination site exclusively for workers in the tourism and construction sectors on Saturday.

The announcement was made by Tobago health officials yesterday during the Division of Health Wellness and Family Development’s weekly press briefing.

General manager of Primary Healthcare of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) Dr Roxanne Mitchell said so far 7235 shots have been administered and of that amount 404 people have already received the second dose of the vaccine.

She said 10,759 people are also currently registered to be vaccinated.

She said there is an increase in demand for vaccines but the current online registration system remains in place and only one additional site will be set up to accommodate 1500 people in the tourism and construction sectors.

“That site will be the Magdalena Gran Hotel. I would like to publicly thank the manager and staff of that establishment that site will be up and running on Saturday June 12 from 8 am to 4 pm. We will begin vaccinating exclusively, members of the tourism and construction sector, we have secured vaccines for these industries,” Mitchell said.

According to Health Secretary Tracy Davidson Celestine, there is an increase in demand for vaccines on the island as several interest groups including fishermen and several categories of hospital workers such as kitchen staff, have asked to be included as groups for priority vaccination, but there will be no deviation from the current online registration process.

She said the vaccinated needs of the island are currently being met and Tobago will achieve herd immunity by September.

She said, “We are well in line with the national arrangement to at least have 60 per cent of the population vaccinated by late August early September of this year. We are just about 29,000 people to be vaccinated and by the end of the weekend that will go up by another 2,000 persons.”

According to Mitchell, the targeted rate of vaccination on the island was set at 150 vaccines administered daily and currently, the rate of vaccination is 313 vaccines per day.

The Health Secretary said thus far there have been no challenges with accessing vaccines from Trinidad and if the current trend continues, the island will soon be able to return to normalcy.

“We are well in line with the national arrangement to at least have 60% of the population vaccinated by late August-early September of this year we are just about 29,000 people to be vaccinated and by the end of the weekend that will go up by another 2,000 persons,” Davidson Celestine said.

There are currently three vaccination sites on the island, the Canaan Health Centre, the Scarborough Health Centre and the Roxborough Health Centre.

On Wednesday, scores of Tobagonians turned up to the vaccination sites expecting to be vaccinated.

They were, however, turned away as the walk-in system only applied to Trinidad.

Mitchell said people from Trinidad can, however, register to be vaccinated in Tobago and they will be accommodated as long as “these persons fall within the 60 and over category, they have comorbidities, are frontline workers or one of the priority groups.

She said the objective is to vaccinate as many persons as possible. According to Mitchell 45,000 people in Tobago are eligible for vaccination and the TRHA has set a target of 60 per cent of those people to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.