Four-hour wait for jab

THE EDITOR: So here I am at the St Joseph Health Centre on April 23 at 9.30 am for my 9.45 am vaccination appointment. There were about 80 other people on site. So I filled out my form and waited patiently. While waiting I couldn’t help but notice various “dignitaries” coming and going – apparently after their shots. At 10.30 am the names being called were for 9 am appointments. A little after 11 am, after waiting 90 minutes, two doctors come out and say “have patience.” One of them says there are only two vaccine stations and that some people were walk-in at-risk patients, as well as some who had been deferred from last week. And still no call for the jab. By my calculations I should be inside by 1 pm. At 12.23 I’m called to wait in the clinic. There are about 24 other people sitting. Some are pre-jab and others waiting 30 minutes post-jab. At 1.57 pm I am called and receive the jab. Total time waiting: four hours, 37 minutes. Some will say that at least I got the vaccine. Indeed I am grateful, because I am over 65 and high-risk. Some will say that we are doing the best we can. A different system is working at the Savannah location, isn’t it? Questions: Why give appointments at all if you are willing to shove them aside? Why only two people giving vaccines? Why allow walk-ins when you are falling behind? Why not have a separate vaccination station for your frontline staff, “dignitaries,” etc? So here are my suggestions: * Priority should be given to the disabled and over 80-year-olds. It is heart-breaking to see these aged people having to wait more than an hour in these circumstances. * Perhaps medical/pharmaceutical student volunteers could be recruited to shepherd patients through the process. They can also assist in filling out forms and discussing possible side effects. * At least five volunteers or active nurses can be trained/brought in to give the jab so that in case of delays or a large turnout they can step in and contribute to a smooth flow. After one day of volunteering there will be more suggestions for improving the flow of patients. That is when we will be doing our best. If this is how we treat the over-60s at high risk, how will the younger, healthier section of our population be treated? Be prepared, people. Pack a lunch and a pillow. We must do better. ANNE DE SILVA St Joseph The post Four-hour wait for jab appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.
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