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Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, left Health Minister Terrence Deyalsing and T&T Supermarket Association President Rajiv Diptee, look on as True Value employee Cathy Charles gets her Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine from, Dr Racquel Latchmedial during the public and private partnership vaccinations at Centre Point Mall, Chaguanas, yesterday.

Jesse Ramdeo

COVID 19 vaccine priority will be given to diabetics.

This as Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh announced that a portion of doses will be made available for diabetics through the Supermarket Association’s mass vaccination programme.

During the launch of another “vaccinate to operate” initiative yesterday at the Centre Point Mall in Chaguanas, Deyalsingh acknowledged a request made by head of the diabetes association, Andrew Dhanoo.

He said, “As you know, our elderly especially with comorbidities, like diabetes, are most susceptible and vulnerable to the virus. He ( Andrew Dhanoo ) has asked for a thousand doses in the first instance and those thousand doses dedicated to our diabetics under his association will be given to the Supermarket Association and we are working together to bring that degree of inoculation.”

The vaccines will augment the 4,000 doses being made available to supermarket workers and another 1,000 for those in the pharmacy sector.

“Under the banner of the Supermarket Association, it’ll be supermarket employees, pharmacy employees and our diabetics, so we are trying to reach the vulnerable groups and the most exposed groups,” he said

While addressing the crowd gathered to be part of the public-private partnership mass inoculation drive, the Health Minister also cautioned against being lured into a sense of complacency after being vaccinated.

He said, “Being vaccinated does not mean that you go back as to how you used to be you still have to observe the 3 w’s, wash your hands, wear your mask and watch your distance. Vaccination does not mean you don’t practice the public health measures; they go hand in hand.”

President of the Supermarket Association, Rajiv Diptee expressed confidence in administering all of the Sinopharm vaccines allocated and hoped to increase jabs in the hands of those identified as the roll-out continued over the coming day.

At the end of day one, over 500 vaccines were distributed.

“We are very grateful for the support, we have seen a great sense of unity and a great sense of output from our people all here to take the Sinopharm vaccine,” he said.

On Sunday, the T&T Manufacturers Association also held its first mass vaccination drive at the Divali Nagar site in Chaguanas in which, 2697 first time doses of the Sinopharm were administered, a record milestone for the amount of vaccines to be administered in one day.