Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Overcrowded vaccine sites may lead to surge

Published:Thursday | April 15, 2021 | 12:07 AM


The last few days of the vaccination blitz was a major disappointment. With the Ministry of Health and Wellness advising anyone to walk in for vaccines, did they not anticipate massive crowds at these locations? Crowding is one of the most effective ways to transmit this virus. Why didn’t they continue the organised process of vaccination by appointment which was working so well until this week? The ministry started off the blitz well organised, only to descend into chaos.

We need to think ahead with proper planning and organisation. Persons with appointment were issued numbers, but neither system was working due to the large crowds, and some spent the entire day waiting to be vaccinated.

They should have anticipated that supplies with expiry dates were not going fast enough, and plan accordingly to gradually dispense them to more age groups. Although persons crowding location wore masks, there was no order or social distancing from what was seen. I’ve heard of people who went to sites and turned away after seeing the large crowds. Others with appointments were told ‘no more vaccines’. The stadium car park looked like a sporting match was in progress. The images of people crowding outside these sites with no social distancing may well lead to another surge in COVID-19 cases; masks alone won’t stop the spread.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness should know better, they will have to take full responsibility if another surge occurs after what happened this week at sites across the island.