The mobile vaccination team will once again be going into homes to inoculate shut-ins and dedicated lines will be put in place at three clinics to fast track persons over 70 years.
These were some of the initiatives Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced tonight in an address to the nation and press conference, as efforts are intensified to increase the number of people vaccinated against COVID-19.
Ms. Mottley noted that some older people were nervous about leaving home to go to vaccination sites. “I’ve asked, therefore, that the mobile vaccination team be resuscitated, and that Dr. Hilary Moore lead the team for us, with private doctors predominantly….
“We feel that the time has returned for us to do as we did with Operation Seek and Save and go into the houses where persons are over 70 and not capable of moving or not comfortable to move,” she stated.
The Prime Minister added that persons with chronic NCDs who were outpatients of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and clients of the polyclinic system would be called about vaccinations.
However, she noted that a specific telephone number would be set aside so those individuals could call to arrange for the health officials to visit them, so they could be vaccinated.
“By the same token, we have also agreed to put special lines in place at three clinics – Alexandra School in the north; Princess Margaret School in St. Philip and the Eunice Gibson Polyclinic in Warrens. Those three clinics will have special signs for persons who are over 70, who can be brought and expedited, without having to wait in the normal line.
“And similarly, a special line for those persons who have chronic NCDs – heart problems, serious diabetic, you are attending the QEH as an outpatient, or you’re attending the polyclinic as a serious outpatient – there’ll be a separate line for you too at those three clinics. We’re doing this because we’re satisfied that we can boost the numbers, and…get to that 70 per cent of the eligible population, and even beyond that,” she explained.
Ms. Mottley disclosed that between September 1 and now, 30,482 people had received first doses of the vaccine, and she expressed confidence that these numbers would continue to rise.
She further disclosed that Barbados would be receiving 7,000 one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccines from Guyana, and they would be arriving on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. “We believe that this will work well, particularly for some of the shut-ins, so that with the one jab they can be protected,” she said.
The Prime Minister advised members of the public who were feeling sick, including those in the home isolation and home quarantine programme, to call 536-1800 and report their symptoms, so they could get the necessary help.
She added that the recently introduced home isolation and quarantine programme had undergone some teething problems but should be back on track by the end of this week.
Meanwhile, Ms. Mottley said she would be leaving the island tomorrow to travel to Washington DC, to attend World Bank and IMF meetings. She added that while overseas, she would also be meeting with various elements of the United States Government.