Dr Sharon Innis vaccinates a person during the Diabetes Association COVID-19 vaccination drive at Centre Pointe Mall, Chaguanas, yesterday.

President of the Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago (DATT) Andrew Dhanoo is grateful that the Ministry of Health gave them the opportunity to vaccinate some of their members.

“This is one (segment) of the population that needs it the most,” he said.

Currently, there are over 200,000 people (16 per cent of the population) living with diabetes in this country and even more, an additional 10 per cent were in the pre-diabetic stage. Dhanoo said this puts approximately one-third of the population more at risk of facing serious complications if they contract COVID-19.

“These are the persons who are most at risk for developing COVID-19 complications. Many of our members have approached us and that was the reason we reached out to the Ministry of Health,” he added.

Speaking at the vaccination site located at the Centre Point Mall Auditorium in Chaguanas yesterday, Dhanoo said his association received 3,500 Sinopharm vaccines for the Ministry.

In collaboration with the Supermarkets Association, doctors and nurses affiliated with DATT started to administer first doses on Tuesday. A process that was completed yesterday.

“We’re gonna be administering the second dose in about a month’s time,” he revealed.

DATT implemented an appointment system which according to Dhanoo allowed them to vaccinate 200 people per hour.

“Today we are targeting 2,400 and the flow is smooth, no person is here more than an hour, they in and out,” he said.

Everyone was given a date and number to call when it is time for the second dose.