THE Prime Minister has said that TT received 2,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Barbados on Wednesday. He made the statement in Parliament on Friday.
Dr Rowley said the vaccines were part of a 50,000 dose donation made to the government of Barbados by the government of India, where the vaccines were manufactured.
Responding to questions from Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal, the PM said he could not say when vaccinations would begin with these doses.
“That matter is in the hands of the CMO and the Ministry of Health and that answer is not available at this moment, I myself have to be advised on that.”
He also said he would not be able to confirm an exact date when vaccines would be received in TT from the Covax facility.
“Ordering from Covax is not a matter of when we can go and take it. The Covax arrangement is that an allocation is made to countries who are part of the process and as vaccines are received from supplier countries, countries like ours will receive. There’s nothing we can do to increase/accelerate our position in line.”
Rowley said government is exploring all authorized sources of vaccines available in order to vaccinate TT’s population, given that the Covax allocation will only fulfil a portion of what is required.
“like other countries, even if we are getting or we have gotten our Covax quota, we have to look for other supplies elsewhere. The international market today is such that have to be careful to ensure that we are dealing with authorized suppliers and that we get vaccines as opposed to placebos.
“The MoH has been having bilateral discussions with the government of China since October 2020. Once WHO approval is received for that vaccine made in China, we will follow up with that and we are confident we will be able to access supplies from that quarter. We are going to pursue acquiring vaccines through bilateral agreements as well as from the Africa Medical Supplies Platform with Caricom.”
Rowley said while Guyana and Barbados may have started their vaccination programmes already, the TT government would confine itself to vaccines certified by WHO and Covax.