Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, Arun Kumar Sahu said this country has not yet approached India about receiving a donation of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covisheld vaccines.
However, On February 16, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne, said he began discussions about purchasing 250,000 orders of the vaccine, one day after the Serum Institute received Word Health Organisation (WHO) approval. Browne said he has written to his Indian counterpart, Dr S. Jaishankar, for help in getting the required export approval.
High Commissioner Sahu said “Keeping in mind our own domestic demand and other commitments for made in India vaccines, our long-standing friendly relations with the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago, we will try our best to expedite this approval process.” But he added, only after T&T directly places an order with the Serum Institute.
He pointed out: “The High Commission is not aware of any proposal from the Trinidad and Tobago Government requesting for gifting of vaccines by the Government of India.”
The High Commissioner added “The external supplies of vaccines are an ongoing process, depending on availability and domestic requirements.”
In the coming weeks, Indian vaccines are expected “to reach some of the Caribbean countries whose governments have requested India for donation” but the commission gave no further details.
“The total donation of vaccine to the Caribbean countries is expected to be around 500,000 doses.”
India has so far donated 6.75 million doses and dispatched another 22.3 million doses on commercial terms to 28 countries.