Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has revealed that Trinidad and Tobago is still in the negotiating phase with the United States over its gift of Covid19 vaccines.
Rowley made the comment during an interview with former UNC Minister, Dr Bhoe Tewarie, during the Tewarie’s morning show ‘Brighter Morning with Bhoe’.
Rowley said “All along, the US has been very forthcoming with promising vaccines but that situation remains a negotiating position.”
He said CARICOM is being represented by Carpha and “Only the Carpha persons in the room have the details of the information but that officer is under confidential contract.”
“The second document was signed off but the third document represents the supplier and that has not been signed yet.
“So we are waiting on that.”
Rowley said if the vaccines coming out of that negotiation can be used to vaccinate children, then they will be used to help get kids back to school.
“But until we have it in our hands from the United States, we can’t say that but we are looking in that direction,” he said.
Access to these vaccines will be useful, as the Covax facility is not receiving vaccines to distribute to its participants, he noted.
The PM also revealed some details on the prices of vaccines overall.
He told Tewarie, “With respect to the price, I could give the population the assurance that we are doing well with the pricing situation. That’s the most I can say.”
“We are paying a fairly attractive price. The cheapest vaccine available to us and the one with the prices disclosed is the vaccine that we got through the Covax.”
Rowley said “The Covax price is not $15, I think we are using $5 and that could be one of the reasons why the Covax is not being adequately supplied or replenished, because of that arrangement was upfront before the vaccines were approved and the price was set.”
However, Rowley stated that the Covax mechanism is suffering.”
He said “It is not receiving vaccines to distribute to countries like ours. We were to get during this month of June, that third tranche, which would have taken us to 100,000 which we started expecting earlier in the programme.”
He said Covax has since advised that the last tranche of 33,000 will no longer be coming in July but should be available in August.
Regarding the purchase of the Chinese produced Sinopharm vaccine, Rowley said “If we did not get another supply we would have been here with no vaccine now because we had used up all that we have got.”