Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne has said that 200,000 Sinopharm vaccines will arrive in Trinidad and Tobago “very early next week” and added that the 800,000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines due in August, might arrive earlier.
He made the announcement while speaking in the Senate this evening on the Mid-Year Review debate.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had announced last Saturday that the Sinopharm vaccines were due here on Thursday, saying only that they would be more than the initial tranche of 100,000 received last month.
Browne told the Senate that he anticipates that with the arrival of the 200,000 Sinopharm vaccines next week, the country will benefit from a much more organised system of vaccinations that will involve “respect for our elderly citizens” and ensure that “vaccines are getting into the arms of our citizens”.
He added that efforts are being made to ensure that the Johnson and Johnson one-dose vaccines due from the African Medical Supplies Platform arrive earlier than the end of August.
“The prime minister is seeking to advance the arrival of those doses. We are working hard to set up a meeting between the president of South Africa and the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago to bring that vaccine date closer,” he said.
The minister also revealed that a shipment of vaccines from a Caribbean country was on its way to T&T tonight.
“There is an Airguard aircraft in the air right now doing collections from our generous neighbours and we are seeking to ensure nothing is wasted,” he said.
He disclosed that this was due to a number of countries in the region experiencing vaccine hesitancy, leaving supplies of AstraZeneca vaccines close to expiration.
He said that T&T has a high level of vaccine acceptance and with all the vaccines due here, T&T will become one of the most vaccinated nations in the region.
He noted that by the end of yesterday, over 250,000 COVID vaccines had entered the country and more than 130,000 were already in the arms of citizens.
The Ministry of Health reported that another 14 people had died from the virus yesterday and registered 300 new cases for the period June 5 to June 10.