Covid-19 injection. Azlan Mohammed/AZP News
IN the next two days Trinidad and Tobago will know when it will get the first set of Covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility.
This was revealed by Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram at the virtual media conference of the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
He said T&T will get between 108,000 to 117,000 of the two-dose Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
Dr Parasram explained that T&T will receive in total 923,340 doses of the vaccines from COVAX to inoculate 33% of the T&T population.
But he said by the end of the year, the country will receive 559,600 doses to vaccine 20% of the population.
Dr Parasram said T&T will receive a further 226,000 from the African Medical Council.
Also at the virtual presser was Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, Dr Amery Browne who said the relationship between T&T and India remained strong.
He made the comment in reference to the 100,000 vaccines sent to Barbados by India.
Dr Browne said it was not clear under what arrangement Barbados received the vaccines, 2,000 of which were sent to T&T and were being used to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers.
He noted difficulties in getting vaccines from India over the past six months.
Dr Browne said on February 4, the Caricom Secretariat informed member states that an offer had been extended by a private manufacturer in India to purchase the Covaxin vaccine.
He said, “To this date, Covaxin has not achieved WHO approval.”
Dr Browne said his ministry has commenced discussions with the Indian High Commission regarding the purchase of Covishield which World Health Organization (WHO) approved on February 15.
He said, “The Government of India is in a position to assist with the export of vaccines to our country but the purchase agreement must be made with the private sector.”
Dr Browne said T&T’s High Commissioner to India Roger Gopaul has reached out to the Serum Institute.
He added, “Unfortunately, the response from the private sector institute was that the Serum Institute is not in a position to accept any further orders for vaccines at this time.”
But Dr Browne noted that the Indian Government has pledged to go the “extra mile” to help T&T get these vaccines.
He said discussions were also taking place with officials in Germany, France and Canada.