They play and promote the national instrument but yesterday Pan Trinbago showed another side of its patriotism by offering COVID-19 vaccines for the members of the steel band community.
It kicked off its first vaccination drive in partnership with the Ministry of Health at Moods panyard in Curepe yesterday as it hopes to do its part in inoculating its members.
“We have over 300 bands throughout Trinidad and Tobago and because of the pandemic, the worldwide entertainment industry has collapsed. If we are to restart the industry here in Trinidad and Tobago, we have to ensure that all of our players are vaccinated,” Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore told Guardian Media.
“We are also appealing to the population to get vaccinated. We depend on large audiences and we offer live music for us it is very important that we have a vaccinated population so that we can once again start to generate income and, also, at this time we are preparing to diversify our revenue streams.”
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh was also on hand at the start of the vaccination drive and playfully tried his hand at music, as a steel band performed live.
He also encouraged people to be part of the inoculation programme.
Ramsey-Moore said they administered over 100 doses yesterday among 67 bands during the drive. She said the next pop-up drive is carded to occur in the next two weeks in South Central Trinidad followed by one in Tobago.
“We are going to continue this drive with the ministry (of health) to take it to the Tobago region, the South-Central region and the Northern region,” she said.
While this is the organisation’s first collaborative vaccination effort with the Ministry of Health, it’s not their first time supporting such a drive.
“Through our line minister, Mr Randal Mitchell…we have registered over 300 steel band leaders and players through that ministry and they would have been vaccinated at the Queen’s Park Savannah,” she said.
She said at every site there will be live pan music performed by a fully vaccinated band along with meals for those being inoculated.