The mass vaccination site at the National Academy for Performing Arts wrapped up operations yesterday after two months of administering around 35,000 doses.
“I think we are all happy that we were able to participate in this initiative and this is not just coming from the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC) but also AMCHAM (the American Chamber of Commerce of T&T) who is our partner in this endeavour and also TTCSI (T&T Coalition of Services Industries. We are all very happy and jubilant actually that we have been able to administer at least 35,000 (doses),” TTCIC Chief Operating Officer Michelle Gonsalves-Suite told Guardian Media.
“The ministry (of health), when they reached out to us originally had asked us to operate the site for 60 days and this is just about the 60-day mark.”
Gonsalves-Suite said low turnout for doses in recent times also made it challenging to run the site and why it’s unlikely that they would reopen it in the future.
“I don’t think we’d see the mass movement of people (for doses) which is what we are now recognising does not exist anymore,” she said.
While there is a noticeably low turnout for inoculations nationally, mass sites experienced fewer numbers as vaccines were made more easily available through the public healthcare sector. Now vaccines are available at all health centres and respective Regional Health Authorities are going into communities to administer doses.
Mass vaccination sites like the ones at NAPA and the Divali Nagar, which also ceased operations on August 31, were hailed by health officials as being integral to the country’s ability to have a quick turnover of inoculations at the start of the national drive when there was high vaccine demand.
However, Gonsalves-Suite said they were willing to consider reopening if the need arises.
She said while they were hoping to have administered upwards of 80,000 doses during their run, they are still satisfied that they were able to accomplish close to half that.
“We thank everyone who has come through and gotten their vaccine. The way we look at it – and that’s what kept us going- is that every one person that we did was one more person who is going to be safe from COVID,” she said.
Gonsalves-Suite said anyone who received the first dose at the site can visit any other vaccination site to receive their second.