Bella Sookdeo (seated) gets her COVID-19 vaccine on Monday from Dr Reshma Sonia Maharaj, during the SATT organised vaccine drive at the Centre Pointe Mall, Chaguanas. Looking on to the left is SATT president, Rajiv Diptee. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

The Supermarkets Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) completed the first leg of its successful COVID-19 vaccination drive, on Monday.

SATT President, Rajiv Diptee, said his organization commenced vaccinations on June 7th, 2021, and has since successfully inoculated some 5,000 persons.

Diptee said the infrastructure the SATT has in place at the Centre Pointe Mall, Chaguanas, would be used to facilitate the inoculation of 3,000 persons on Wednesday, for the Diabetes Association of T&T.

“It has been tremendous so far,” he said.  “The SATT really are appreciative of the efforts of the Minister of Heath in recognizing the sector with the contribution of vaccines. We really feel that it is something that is long overdue by the people in our sector. The vaccine acceptance has been on the uptick.”

He said the SATT has set a template for a successful, controlled, mass vaccination site.

“When we look at what happened last week at the health centres, people can reflect very kindly on this to feel the comfort of a very well-structured vaccination site. We have over 125 staff here, and no fewer than 50 medical professionals, as well.” 

Diptee told Guardian Media that the site would accommodate second dose vaccinations, which should start next month.

He also confirmed that 4,000 doses were given to the supermarket workers, and 1,000 to the pharmacy sector.

Meanwhile, Second Vice-President of the Registered Nurses Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Latisha Cox, said members of her association volunteered to assist SATT because of the Association’s kindness in attending to their needs.  SATT had made several donations of meals and hampers to medical personnel, since the pandemic began.