HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has not received the AstraZeneca covid19 vaccine and will not be doing so until the distribution reaches the stage of essential workers. Parliamentarians fall under this category.
On Wednesday, 100 frontline healthcare workers received their first doses of the vaccine at the Couva Hospital. Their second dose will be given after 28 days.
Deyalsingh said right now, the focus is on vaccinating the “frontline of all frontline workers,” which are the infection prevention and control doctors and nurses.
He said he does not want a situation where he takes the vaccine and a frontline worker contracts the virus and dies. He said these first 2,000 vaccines which were donated by the government of Barbados (which in turn had recived them from the government of India), should be kept for this group only.
He said the AstraZeneca vaccine, in the open market, costs US$4 but will cost less through the Covax facility.
By March, TT will receive around 120,000 more of these vaccines.
“Today, we draw a line in the sand and tell the virus we are in control,” he said.
Asked how the vaccine reaching TT would affect the current public health measures, he said there is no set "magic number" (of daily cases) the ministry has in mind to begin talks about relaxing measures.
But he said, “Before life goes back to normal, the decisions are going to be based on a series of metrics.”