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Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.

RADHICA DE SILVA

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Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly says more vaccination sites will be set up in the future for the inoculation of children over 12, once more volunteers step forward.

Speaking to reporters at the opening of the $24 million Chatham Government Primary School, the Minister said 14 vaccination sites have already been set up across the country.

Responding to calls from Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal that the heavily populated communities of Penal, Debe and Barrackpore had no vaccination site in their community, Dr Nyan Gadsyby Dolly said, “The more sites we can have onboard we will get faster vaccination. But to put more sites, you will need more staffing. The 14 sites that we have now are for the students across the entire country.”

She added, “If we can get more volunteers and if we had staffing for more than 14 sites we will set up more. In the meantime, we are calling on parents to ensure that they take their children to be vaccinated.”

She noted that when online schooling was introduced, there were many people who missed physical school.

“Students missed the interaction with their friends. We want to get back there and so in order to do that we must vaccinate our children who are 12 years and above.”

She said she also had two children in secondary school and she planned for them to be vaccinated.

Asked what was the percentage of teachers who got vaccinated, Dolly said that data was not available.

“Teacher vaccination has been going on. There were dedicated services for teachers and the calls go out to them as well to get vaccinated.”

The Chatham Government Primary School was started in 2013 but was incomplete when the PNM took office.

In January 2020, the MTS was given a contract to complete the school. Under this contract, $13 million was budgeted but MTS completed the school for $9 million in a space of eight months.