Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the ministry has been approached the private companies to partner to obtain covid19 vaccines.
His statement was made on Saturday at the virtual press conference after Ansa McAl announced on Friday that it will offer covid19 vaccines to all its 6,000 members of staff and their immediate families once the vaccines become available.
The company said, “Our intention is to collaborate and partner with government ministries of health in the territories in which we operate ie Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and Jamaica, to support their efforts at funding the acquisition of covid19 vaccines.
“Therefore, all of the group’s efforts under this initiative will be in tandem with these governments’ established acquisition and distribution plans for the covid19 vaccines throughout the population in each territory.”
Deyalsingh said it was a commendable initiative but vaccines obtained by the government is what will be used on the population.
“We will welcome any initiatives by the private sector to vaccinate their employees free of charge. That should be welcomed.
“The private sector has been reaching out to us, but we will only be using vaccines which the government purchases for member of the public.”
He added that when the vaccine eventually becomes widely available and commoditised, like other vaccines, it will be available at both the public and private sectors.
“Every single vaccine in TT right now, is available free through the public sector and you can pay for it through the private sector. The same thing will happen with covid19 vaccines eventually. So, once the vaccine is registered through our local agents, any private entity can purchase the vaccines for their employees.
He noted that no private entity or the government can make it mandatory for the vaccine to be taken.