THE government’s COVID-19 adolescents’ vaccination drive-through initiative at MovieTowne on Saturday saw overwhelming support from members of the public, who took both their first and second doses of the available vaccines.
Seventeen-year-old Shana Marks, a former student of Soesdyke Secondary School, told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that she believes the vaccine can help to save lives. She also noted that the process was quite simple.
“I didn’t feel anything. I would encourage everyone to take the vaccine.” Twenty-one-year-old Sunita Rajmoon and her younger brother, Aadesh Rajmoon, also welcomed the drive-through initiative.
“It is my first and I was kind of nervous and I got through it,” Sunita said.
“I am 16 plus, I thought about it and I made the decision myself and take it,” Aadesh related. Devika Lalita Naimoon is hoping everyone eligible to be vaccinated takes the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their families.
“We don’t want the virus to spread, so I think they should stay safe, everybody should take the vaccine, children and parents, everybody should take the vaccine,” she said.
Rommel Miko, who took his first jab, also urged everyone to get vaccinated.
“We need to safeguard ourselves against the virus, as we know it is airborne so we cannot see it. I think the best way we can control the spread of coronavirus in the country is by taking our vaccine.”
Ms. Rosanne from Paradise Housing Scheme also shared similar sentiments with DPI.
“I think it is important that everybody should take the vaccine, I mean the vaccine is not stopping the COVID from affecting you, but at least it can protect you somewhat from it.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, who joined the team of nurses and volunteers at MovieTowne, said he was happy with the turnout, noting steady flow of traffic under the vaccination tents.
“I hope that we will get about 1500 to 2000 persons coming to get their second dose vaccines… But it’s not only second dose Pfizer that we are giving, although we want all those who came initially to come back and get their second dose here, if there is anyone who would like to get their first dose AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sputnik V or the J&J, they can come down and get those vaccines here. And for AstraZeneca and Sinopharm we have the second dose here as well,” Dr. Anthony said.
The Health Minister also responded to reports on the World Health Organisation’s suspension of the Sputnik V approval process over reported manufacturing breaches.
“So, Sputnik V has been going through a WHO approval process, as part of that process, the WHO would send a specialised team to go to the manufacturing plants to look at how the vaccines are actually being manufactured. About two months ago, such an inspection took place.
“They visited six plants in Russia in different parts of Russia, where they are manufacturing these vaccines, from the report that I have read out of that visit a few questions arose at one particular site. And the Russian government for the Russian Direct Investment Fund, would have responded to those queries, and they have invited back the team to come back and have another inspection.
“So, they’re due for that second inspection, and I’m sure once they are satisfied that they would continue with the approval process. So, these things do happen, if people have queries it’s best that they sort out those queries, so that the approval process can be done properly,” Minister Anthony explained.
While he did not say exactly when the second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine will arrive in the country, Minister Anthony reiterated that the government is sparing no effort in securing vaccines. (DPI)