280,000 TT nationals, which is equivalent to 20 per cent of our population, will be the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccines upon their release as part of the vaccine drive being managed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Minister of Health, Terrance Deyalsingh, speaking at today’s media briefing, said “At this point in time there are no regulatorily approved Covid vaccines. What we have signed on to in Trinidad and Tobago is a vaccine facility called Covax managed under WHO (World Health Organisation).”
Hw said “What the Covax facility does for any country that is signed onto it as we have done it pools resources and invests in a portfolio of promising vaccine candidates so we are spreading our risk by not putting all our eggs into one basket by dealing with only one vaccine manufacturer. So under Covax that facility will yield about 12-15 vaccine manufacturers all of which have candidate vaccines, most of which are either in phase two or phase three of clinical trials, with phase three being the last clinical phase.”
Deyalsingh said the Covax principle is based on equal access to a regulated vaccine.
He said “In signing on to the Covax facility any country regardless of size will get in the first instance vaccines to cover 20 percent of its population. So, whether you are a small country of 10,000 people or a large country of 200 million or 1 billion, you will get 20 per cent across the board to vaccinate your population.”
In Trinidad and Tobago, 280,000 citizens would be granted access to these vaccines when released. In addition to this, he said, Cabinet has signed on to receive an additional 162,000 to vaccinate at least 33 per cent of the population. As a result, 462,000 vaccines will be received from Covax in total.