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Major Clarke: Messages fake, COVID-19 vaccines by appointment only


Major Clarke: Messages fake, COVID-19 vaccines by appointment only
A line outside Randal Phillips Polyclinic in Christ Church, April 18, 2021. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

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Co-coordinator of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign, Major David Clarke, told Nation News today that a malicious person sent out a message which was making the rounds on social media that the vaccination was being offered to “anyone interested”.

However, Clarke reminded the public that vaccinations will only be administered by an appointment system, and unless you received a call from the unit, it was not your turn to receive the jab.

Additionally, in a message issued by Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) today, Clarke has urged people to stop circulating fake messages on social media about vaccinations.

He said this mischief has caused an overload on the system because people were turning up without appointments at polyclinics for COVID-19 vaccinations. He said the only people presently receiving vaccinations are frontline workers.

The WhatsApp messages have been instructing people to walk in to various polyclinics and other locations to be vaccinated.  He pointed out that this has not been sanctioned by anyone from the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Immunisation Unit, and there are currently no walk-in vaccination sites.

Clarke said that while those who showed up today at one of the polyclinics named in the fake messages were not turned away, this would not be the case going forward.

He reminded members of the public that vaccinations were being done by appointment only, and any information regarding the vaccination programme would be issued though the BGIS and credible news sources.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Immunisation Unit resumed the administration of first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on April 8, and a notice issued through BGIS had said “the focus will be on addressing the backlog of persons registered during the first phase of the National Vaccination Programme for COVID-19”.

The statement had also said that frontline workers who had not yet received their first dose would also be vaccinated. (PR/RA)