“Vaccine vaccine, come and get your vaccine. First dose of your COVID-19 vaccine to help protect you and your family!”
This was the chant heard along the roadside during the bustling hours of Saturday morning market shopping, as the roll-out of the public vaccination programme shifted gears to the market.
The free public vaccination was conducted in the parking lot of the Central Marketing Corporation from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and witnessed scores of residents pausing their usual Saturday morning routine to get their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZenea vaccine.
According to one vendor, “Me and a the same virus causing so much money problem, health problem, death problem, all kind of problem. So if this vaccine can help that problem go away, me go tek um,” he said before he rolled his trolley away.
Market vendors, shoppers, bus drivers, and passersby all used the opportunity to quickly get vaccinated in the absence of no long lines and multiple vaccine stations within the blood bank bus. The process was also said to be “quick and incident-free” with no apparent wait lines or spacing issues, maintaining all COVID-19 protocols.
From 5:00 a.mm to 1:00 p.m., some two hundred and forty-five people received their first jab, with several people still lining up after the mobile vaccine crew was packing up. *Photos Below*
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Rhonda Sealy Thomas, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Sir Molwyn Joseph, The Superintendent of Public Health Nursing (SPHN), Nurse Almarie Coates, Pathologist Dr. Lester Simon, along with six nurses and two other doctors turned out to aid in the vaccination process.
Joining the health team were also five data clerks, five customer service representatives and two police officers who all volunteered their services for the exercise.
The Ministry of Health posted “A big thank you to Police Officers, CPL Jacobs and Constable Malone for their continued support and commitment to the public vaccination programme. Both officers are based at the Villa Polyclinic Monday to Friday to maintain order during the vaccination process. However, they volunteered their services for the public vaccination at the market, in front of Central Marketing Corporation (CMC). Both Officers aided in registering persons and guided them to the vaccine stations. Thank you, officers, for your time, effort and commitment.”
According to site managers who assisted in organising the day’s event, “Shifting the public vaccination programme in the heart of busy Market Street was done to allow everyone to get their first dose if they were unable to do so before. We know everyone lives a hectic work life and may not have the ability to visit the vaccine centers during the week. So we have brought the vaccine centers to them, for their convenience.”
As residents walked by the exercise, they also got the opportunity for further education on the subject matter of vaccination. One nurse commented that the exercise gave residents who were sceptical or had concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine the chance to speak directly with nurses and doctors who could provide accurate information.
People who received their vaccine on Saturday also received packs of masks, refreshments, and a snack as they waited out their screening and observation time.
The mobile vaccination in the market is said to be one of several initiatives the ministry is anticipating to roll-out to quicken the uptake of public vaccination.