Good turnout for COVID-19 vaccine blitz in ClarendonFriday, August 27, 2021
MAY PEN, Clarendon — More than 2,800 individuals were inoculated in Clarendon over the recent four-day blitz at the Denbigh Primary School vaccination site.
According to Dr Kathleen Woods Ramsingh, the parish's acting assistant medical officer of health, the numbers increased with each passing day. There were approximately 513 shots given on Saturday, 703 on Sunday and 597 on Monday. “[Tuesday] is looking like it is going to be our highest yet because we already processed over 500 persons and others are still waiting outside,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “The age range over the duration was initially set for children 12 and above but some persons who don't have children have also come because they heard that they could get the vaccine. But the majority [of those who showed up] is 12-18; [they came] with their parents. And then there are the older persons about 40 years and above. We vaccinate everybody willing to get it once they are over 12 years old.”
Dr Woods Ramsingh added that additional health-care workers had to be brought in on Tuesday to assist as a result of the volume of persons that turned up at the site. “The plan is to schedule another blitz to get in as many persons because the take up has been so overwhelming. What I do know is that plans are in place but the details are yet to be worked out,” she said, noting that there is an adequate supply of vaccines to cover the crowds. “The feeling I'm getting is that persons have been waiting on the Pfizer and now that it is here they are coming out. The Delta variant being in the island and in the parish is also a factor that has caused persons who were adamant about not taking the vaccine to come out and get it,” she said.
Joel Williams, councillor for the Denbigh Division, said the four-day blitz had been phenomenal. “We couldn't have asked for more. The persons have turned out in their numbers. I was [worried the bad weather would keep them away] on Saturday [but] we were able to do over 500 persons.” He said he used the political party machinery to get persons out to the sites in time to get their jabs.
“We have several drivers transporting people and we have had to ask them to [take a] break because the back up at the gate was too much. We didn't want people to get restive and cause overcrowding. It is a team effort from all the stakeholders and we want to say thanks for the outpouring [of support]. I want to take the opportunity to thank the nurses and all the other health-care workers because these [blitz] exercises are a mammoth task; they have been superb. At times when I look at them, we can see that they are tired but they push on.”
Kemeila Tyrell and her 13-year-old daughter were among those who turned up at the site. “My daughter, since passing for Denbigh High, has not gone to school in the physical setting. So I brought her here to get vaccinated so she will be protected when she goes back to school,” explained Tyrell. “I notice one of her eye is a bit swollen and when I took her to do her back-to-school medical the doctor say it may have been caused from the extended screen time and online learning. So I am encouraging all parents to get vaccinated and to get their children vaccinated too so that we can return to normal as soon as possible.”