THE Pfizer (covid19) vaccine has been approved for the Caribbean region, but Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the ministry has requested some more “technical information” before making any final arrangements.
He was speaking at the Health Ministry’s virtual press conference on Wednesday morning.
In November, Deyalsingh said based on the then-current research and science, the Moderna vaccine was more ideal for Trinidad and Tobago than Pfizer’s.
He had said, "The advantage is the Moderna vaccine can be stored at much higher temperatures than the Pfizer. The Pfizer can be stored at -70 degrees Celsius to -80 degrees Celsius…But the Moderna vaccine can be stored at -20 degrees Celsius for up to six months. So logistically, that is a huge improvement."
Moderna is a US biotechnology company and Pfizer is a US pharmaceutical corporation.
He said Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram met with a representative from WHO's Covax vaccination programme on Tuesday, at which he was also present.
He said, “We requested some packages of info that they have promised to send about the candidate vaccines we are looking at in the region.”
These are the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Sanofi vaccines.
AstraZeneca is a British-Swedish pharmaceutical company and Sanofi is a French pharmaceutical company.
Deyalsingh began saying no vaccine had yet been approved by the WHO for the Caribbean, but was corrected by Dr Erica Wheeler – WHO county representative for TT – who said the Pfizer vaccine had been approved.
Deyalsingh said, “Once the Pfizer vaccine passes all the regulatory approvals via the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the technical advisory groups for the Caribbean, the local technical advisory groups, the Pfizer vaccine can possibly be the first one to be used in TT.”