Deyalsingh: Ministry Seeks to Digitise its Data

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

TO date 41,207 persons between the ages of 12 and 18 have been given one shot of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine and 28,275 have been given a second shot.

And just over 41% of the population have received at least one dose of a vaccine and about 35% have received both doses.

These were the figures revealed by Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh on Thursday during a visit to vaccination site SuperPharm in Marabella.

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Deyalsingh said, “Those are decent numbers but we need to get them better.”

At SuperPharm, the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) was administering the one shot Johnson and Johnson vaccines to the public.

Speaking to the media, Deyalsingh said since Monday, the ministry noted a 50% increase in the uptake of Covid-19 vaccines from last week.

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He said, “Whilst that is good, it is a 50% uptake from a relatively low bay.”

Deyalsingh said he was not satisfied with the vaccination rate of persons between the ages of 12 and 18 especially with secondary schools re-opening on Monday for the higher forms.


“These numbers should have been up to about 60 to 70,000 by now, but we will work with what we have,” Deyalsingh said.

The minister emphasised with the continued rampage of the virus, lockdowns have run its course and now vaccination was the main defence to protect lives and the economy.

More details on safe zones to be announced by AG 

Deyalsingh also said the safe zones were currently focused on those places that had leisure activities or where the mask will be taken off to eat or for other reasons.

“It will not apply as yet, hopefully not to churches and retail shopping because in retail shopping you could keep your mask on. But when you go to a cinema, you want to eat and drink something, a casino, a restaurant, a bar, the danger is when you take off your mask.”

The government was now working towards saving not just lives but livelihoods as well with the implementation of the new policies, the minister said.

Further questioned concerning details of procedure, Deyalsingh said that Attorney General Faris Al Rawi will make an announcement at the appropriate time which will be soon,  given that the policy to have only fully vaccinated persons allowed into those establishments comes into effect on October 11.

Referring to the hard-copy immunization card, Deyalsingh said business owners may eventually have to purchase the equipment necessary to scan codes from individuals’s phones to check their vaccination status as the ministry seeks to digitise its data.

He added, “It is not expensive technology and it will boost your business.”

No patient care compromised due to nursing deficiency 

The minister also thanked all the nurses who showed up for duties at the various Regional Health Authorities.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) Idi Stuart had called for nurses to engage  in protest action for Friday since he claimed they were not getting the compensation deserved as frontline workers.

Deyalsingh said information received indicated that there was a 90% to 95% nursing turnout.

“I really want to congratulate our nursing personnel who have come out in almost normal numbers. Those areas where we have a couple shortfalls, the RHA’s have engaged their contingency plan and the feedback is that absolutely no patient care has been compromised.”

Deyalsingh said, “We will continue to engage our nursing personnel constructively and respectfully as we solve and continue to solve and address their valid concerns.”




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