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Kathy Ann Sharma of Santa Cruz gets her COVID-19 jab from nurse Toshuana Christopher at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, on Saturday.

Close to 600 people were vaccinated at the Ministry of Health’s three Mass Vaccination Sites in south Trinidad on Saturday.

According to numbers provided by the South West Regional Health Authority, the highest turnout was at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium drive-through where 292 people took the jab. At the Southern Academy for Performing Arts and the Penal PowerGen 129 and 176 vaccines were administered respectively.

Speaking with Guardian Media at the Mannie Ramjohn stadium 21-year-old Steffon Ramroop admitted that he would not have taken the vaccine if he did not have plans to travel. Ramroop said he was holding out on taking the vaccine to see if it had side effects. “I really looking to fly out of the country so they say you have to get the vaccine before you leave so I need up taking it.”

Dave Paras, a retiree of Marabella, also had doubts about taking the vaccine. However, after losing two of his close friends to COVID-19 he decided to take the vaccine to protect himself and his family.

“Doubts were always from the starting because when you hearing a lot of negative stuff it all boils down to you want to do it or you don’t want to do it. Knowing that I have family and I have friends who fall by I thought this was my best way to go. It has my family a lil more comfortable knowing that I take it and you know I leave everything right now in God’s hands.”

Saturday was the first day for the vaccination drive at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium and it continues Sunday and Monday, as well as at SAPA. According to the ministry’s COVID-19 update on Saturday 388,805 people have received their first dose while 194, 710 got their second dose.

10,000 take the jab at Mass Vaccination Site run by Proman

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 people have been vaccinated at the Mass Vaccination site run by Proman at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Fazard Mohammed, head of corporate communications at Proman, said there has been a slowing down of people coming to use the drive-through facilities. He said the administration of the first dose continues until August 8 and those who have appointments for the second dose would begin on August 9 and run to August 29.

In a release the methanol and fertiliser company said “As a responsible corporate partner, we are pleased to join the ministry and other key stakeholders in ensuring that members of the public and individuals across our communities have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, which will play a vital role in helping our country return to a more normal way of life.”