Health Secretary Tracy Davidson- Celestine says there is “significant” vaccine hesitancy in Tobago, especially in the island’s eastern end.
She said a lack of correct information about vaccines might be causing the high hesitancy rate.
The Tobago Regional Health Authority(TRHA) will try different strategies, including vaccinating people on the block, to improve the vaccine rate.
Davidson- Celestine was speaking at the virtual weekly Tobago Health Update media briefing on Thursday.
” When we started this vaccination drive, we indicated our target…is to vaccinate at a minimum of 60 per cent of the adult population that would equate to about 45,000,” the Secretary said.
She said less than half of the targeted population accessed the shots.
” I thought, initially, we would have been able to achieve that goal within seven days. However, after two or three months, we are still struggling with vaccinating persons on the island. Forty per cent is where we are at now, so we still have 60 per cent of the population to be vaccinated.”
She said unvaccinated people pose a risk to society.
” The challenge with that is that we can have a significant medical crisis or medical challenge on our hands.”
She reminded that residents could choose from four different types of vaccines. They are AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer for school-aged children.
She said the TRHA has also given people the chance to either walk in, drive-in, or make an appointment to get vaccinated.
She said the TRHA would visit communities to educate them and walk with vaccines to give people their jabs.
“We have the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and we are hoping that will be more readily acceptable by the boys on the block …by the people in deep Tobago East because one of the things that we are seeing is that there is a significant vaccine hesitancy in deep Tobago East.”
Reporter: Camille McEachnie