FOREIGN and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne on Sunday expressed TT's gratitude to the government and people of Grenada for their gift of covid19 vaccines.
Browne was at Piarco International Airport at noon, when the shipment of 10,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived from Grenada on board an Air Guard plane.
In a Facebook post, Browne declared, "Caricom diplomacy in action again. Today I was pleased to receive 10,000 doses of AstraZeneca covid19 vaccines that were generously donated by the Government and people of Grenada." Browne was accompanied to the airport by TT's Ambassador to Caricom, Frances Seignoret.
"I commended our Ministry of National Security and Air Guard for their very efficient transportation of the vaccines for handing over to the Chief Pharmacist (Anesa Doodnath-Siboo). Thank you to our neighbours on the beautiful island of Grenada."
Browne's comments were reinforced in a subsequent statement issued by his ministry. In that statement, the ministry thanked the Grenadian government "for this timely donation of vaccines, which will assist in advancing TT's vaccination programme at this critical juncture in its management of the covid19 outbreak locally."
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds also welcomed the arrival of the 10,000 doses. In a post on his Facebook page, he thanked the Defence Force personnel who brought the doses safely and efficiently from Grenada to TT.
"Thanks to the Chief of Defence Staff and his men and women, who again rallied to the state’s call. Just like last week in respect of St Vincent and the Grenadines; earlier today they went to Grenada to collect the 10,000 vaccines as given to us, by that government."
Hinds declared, "Well done guys! The lives that you may have saved may never be counted." He criticised an unnamed TV personality who he said often criticises the TT Defence Force. "He cyah fly a paper kite across he bedroom to save he life; but you (the TT Defence Force) flew an aircraft to collect life-saving material. Thanks again!"
The Prime Minister first announced the arrival of the 10,000 does of AstraZeneca vaccine from Grenada at a news conference on Saturday. Dr Rowley was optimistic that by September, TT would be in a better position in terms of the amount of vaccines it would be able to access and people who would be able to receive their required two doses of a World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine.
Included in the expected vaccines, is a second shipment of doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China. A first shipment of 100,000 doses of Sinopharm arrived in TT earlier this month.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, who was also at the briefing, said in preparation for this, the administration of the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccines to some 60,000 people will be ramped up. He hopes this could be done in 12 days beginning on June 7. Previous appointments for these doses will be scrapped, he said, and the recipients will receive phone calls with new dates and venues.