Covid-19 vaccines by March next year

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Covid-19 vaccines by March next year

Trinidad and Tobago may receive its first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines by March next year.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, speaking at Saturday’s Covid19 briefing, said by that time period, the country will be in a position to begin receiving, storing and distributing the vaccine to the population.

The minister is hoping to go to Cabinet by the end of January with firmer details including all associated costs.

Deyalsingh said the single-dose vaccine was preferred because of convenience.

The minister said since last year, the country was preparing to facilitate vaccines with a brand new walk-in chiller being built at an approximate cost of $350,000.

This country has already obtained five sub-zero freezers for the storage of vaccines when they arrive, and the Government is in the process of seeking to purchase a few more.

Some vaccines such as the Pfizer vaccine will need to be stored at minus 72 degrees while others will have to be stored at minus 20 degrees.
Varying types will require specialised sub-zero freezers. An average cost was about $100,000 Deyalsingh said.

The main sub- zero freezers will be situated at the Couva Hospital, the National Insurance Property Development Company Limited – Pharmaceutical Division C40 warehouse in Chaguaramas and in Tobago.

A tender process has already begun for the procurement of the freezer to be placed at the Couva facility.