Hanover residents angry at not getting the jab
Dozens of persons who showed up at Hopewell Health Centre in Hanover to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination were turned away as the staff at the facility was not aware of any plans for them to be vaccinated.
The disgruntled residents, who showed up with valid documentation that they obtained via the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Vaccination site, heaped blame on the system, which they said caused them to leave their homes in vain.
Jennifer Blair, who was left very angry by the experience, told The Gleaner that she transported her two daughters and her son to the clinic, as per the 11 a.m. appointment they were given by the health ministry, only to be told at the clinic that the staff was unaware of any vaccination plans for the location.
“The ministry need fi stop tek people and tun dem inna fool and stop gi out bogus date fi people come vaccinate when dem know seh no vaccination naw gwan round ya,” said Blair, who is already vaccinated.
“Suppose dem mek mi pickney dem ketch COVID and dead after dem come fi get dem vaccination an dem tun dem weh. A wonder wha Mr Tufton and di nurse dem a Hopewell clinic would a tell mi seh,” the woman added.
To verify her claim, the woman showed The Gleaner the confirmation information for her children, including the registration numbers and bar code provided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which she had stored on her telephone.
With angry residents milling around outside with their documents intact and ready to take their jab, a nurse at the facility told The Gleaner that there was very little they could do because they had not been informed by their superiors of any vaccination plans. In fact, she said the schedule entailed treating elderly persons with non-COVID-19 conditions.
“We understand the concerns of these residents who turned up to be vaccinated, but there is nothing we can do. They all seem to have legitimate appointments from the ministry, but we were not informed about persons to be vaccinated here today,” the nurse said.
“The clinic has other engagements, which include attending to persons in need of medication, and today is one of those days when we are packed with elderly patients who need medical assistance, and these are persons with appointment dates who cannot be turned away,” the nurse added.
When The Gleaner made contact with Dawn Harvey, the parish manager at the Hanover Health Authority, she said she was surprised to hear that residents with legitimate COVID-19 vaccination appointment dates had been turned away at the Hopewell clinic.
“This is a clear case of misunderstanding, and I want to use this opportunity to apologise to all the residents who turned up today to be vaccinated and were turned away,” said Harvey. “I can’t explain what went wrong, but I have contacted the nursing staff at the clinic, and it seems that there is a misunderstanding.”
Harvey said all the residents who were turned away should revisit the clinic next Monday and Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to be vaccinated.
St Andrade Sinclair, the director of the Western Regional Health Authority, said he, too, was surprised by the non-vaccination of the residents and said the matter would be investigated.
“Anybody who presents themselves at a vaccination site to be vaccinated, they are processed for the day, you register, and after you register, we normally give you some briefings on what the vaccination is about, and after that, you are vaccinated,” said Sinclair.