Kalisa Ramsubagh

Hundreds of young people started lining up outside the mass vaccination site at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, from as early as 6.30 am yesterday to get their COVID-19 vaccines.

Despite the long lines of vehicles at the site, Commander Gavin Heera said everything was under control.

“We have a large turnout, a lot of students with their parents are coming through, but it is being managed and managed quite well with this system we have here. We have so far aimed at vaccinating 1,000 people but we are aiming for more than that.”

Despite the heavy rains, young people said they were excited to get the jabs.

Many said they want to return to the classroom environment and noted that online classes are not as beneficial as going to school.

Kalisa Ramsubagh, 17, who attends the Naparima Girls’ High School, was accompanied by her father, PC Ramsubagh, for the jab.

Kalisa said he wanted the vaccine.

“You could be at risk to other people who are unvaccinated and to those who are more at risk to chronic diseases,” Kalisa said.

She said unvaccinated people who contract the virus would only take up spaces in the hospital that are urgently needed by people seeking treatment for cancer and other chronic diseases.

She said, “Being unvaccinated, you could also risk the virus being replicated to different variants which we do not want because we all want to go back to normal.”

Kalisa said her parents and friends shared the same view.

Jason David took his daughter Jaycia to the facility.

The elder David said, “I am happy that she is getting the vaccine. It allows me to be sure that she is safe and I am safe and she could get back out to school.”

After getting the jab, Jaycia said the shot was not painful.

“It was like an ants bite.”

Bal Ragoonath also took his daughter Amrita Ragoonath, 12, to take the jab.

Bal, a resident of Williamsville, said he assured his daughter the vaccine was safe. Amrita said she was eager to get her SEA results and get back in a classroom.”

Fazad Mohammed, head of Corporate Communications at Proman, the corporate entity running the mass vaccination site, said vaccines for young people will continue until next week based on the supplies released from the Ministry of Health.