RADHICA DE SILVA
As the demand increased for the COVID-19 vaccinations, hundreds of walk-in clients were turned away from vaccination centres across the country yesterday.
A total of 850 people were vaccinated at ten vaccination centres operated by the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA).
At the La Romaine Health Centre, only three people were seen sitting under a tent when Guardian Media visited.
Sabir Samad, of Gulf View, said he came as a walk-in on Tuesday and waited for three hours, hoping to get a vaccine.
“I could have gotten it yesterday but I left and came back today, hoping to get through. But now I am being told that no walk-ins are being accepted,” Samad said.
Although he tried making an appointment, Samad he was unsuccessful.
At the Marabella Health Centre, elderly people were seen entering the facility. Everyone interviewed said they had appointments. A staff member said all walk-ins were turned away.
At the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts, the lines started from 6 am.
By 8 am, more than 250 walk-ins were turned away and only those with appointments were facilitated.
Businessman Wayne Ali expressed frustration with the appointment process.
“Its three weeks now we waiting for an appointment. Yesterday we decided to go to the Marabella Health Centre but they said they were not taking any walk-ins. We left and came here to SAPA, we did not get through yesterday but they told us to come back today,” Ali said.
Bissoondaye Roopnarine, who got through with her vaccination, said she was happy with the process. People who had appointments were out of SAPA within half an hour.
The vaccination drive will continue today.