The World Health Organization (WHO) will decide next Thursday when countries will be receiving vaccines from the Covax facility.
Health minister Terrence Deyalsingh made the statement as he answered urgent questions in the House of Representatives on Friday. He said the WHO informed him of the date by Thursday.
“As previously stated, the window of opportunity for receipt of the vaccines is the end of February to the first to second week in March. As yet, we do not have an airway bill number or anything like that.”
He said the Health Ministry has developed an ICT programme to record and manage the people vaccinated, who would be chosen using WHO guidelines for exposure and risk.
“We started using the programme on Wednesday. To date that has been populated with over 200 healthcare workers.
"We started the vaccination programme on Wednesday, and did 120 people. On Thursday we did 90, and on Friday we started at the Southwest Regional Health Authority, where we’re expecting to do 100.
"So the software, the integrated communications technology software, is already in use.”
He said employment records and NCD clinic records would be used to identify the people to be vaccinated in phase one.
“Group one will be high-risk, high-exposed healthcare workers; group two will be frontline public healthcare workers; group three direct healthcare workers, public and private; group four patients with chronic illnesses; and group five elderly – over 60.
"We are not yet ready to contact people in the CDAP programme for them to be vaccinated.”