Trinidad and Tobago, which once topped an Oxford report for its splendid handling of the Coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, now has the worst ranking in terms of vaccine administration.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh just yesterday stated in the Senate that government and its agencies are working very hard to secure more vaccines on several fronts.
He also said TT and other countries have to deal with a situation where some countries are even embargoing the export of vaccines to others.
But, with 312 million doses of Covid19 vaccines having already been administered across the globe thus far, and 68.6 million people world already fully vaccinated, Deyalsingh has failed to point out how TT has administered the lowest number of vaccines in the world with just 440 doses and has received a ranking of 126 out of 135 countries.
He noted that there is a “worldwide scramble for vaccines” and small countries are being disadvantaged in this process, but countries like Barbados and Grenada are well ahead of TT with their administration of the Covid19 vaccines.
Grenada started the vaccination programme with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on February 12 and to date more than 4,000 Grenadians have been vaccinated.
Barbados, meantime, as of February 25, 2021, has vaccinated just over 29,000 persons, about 14 per cent of the island’s population.
TT only received 2,000 vaccines recently due to the kindness of Barbados, which helmed from a donation from India.
Now, Deyalsingh said that our first batch of Covax vaccines has been dropped from over 100,000 to 33,600 doses.
Deyalsingh said the Government was exploring the African Medicines Council Platform where T&T is registered as a purchaser for over 400,000 vaccines across three vaccine platforms- AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson’s. He said the Government was also exploring bilateral talks with India, China, Germany, France and Canada as well as direct bilateral talks with suppliers such as Johnson and Johnson, Sinopharm and Bharat Biotech. He said the government was exploring all options in the context of an absolute global shortage of vaccines.