Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh on his way to the Senate, yesterday.

The Pfizer vaccines received recently from the US will be reserved for those under the remit of the National Security Ministry, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said yesterday.

He did so in the Senate replying to queries from Opposition Senator Wade Mark on the 80 vials of vaccines donated by the US.

Deyalsingh said as National Security had stated, they will make the final determination on who will receive these vaccines. While Health Ministry makes vaccines available, it doesn’t specify who gets them and it’s up to the agency – whether public or private – to do that.

Mark‘s query on whether the vaccines would go to private individuals closely associated with the People’s National Movement wasn’t allowed.

Deyalsingh explained the Pfizer vaccines, like others from donor agencies and AstraZeneca were held in bond pending the arrival of full documentation. He said that was the history when it came to donations. On receipt of AstraZeneca doses which were not documented by the World Health Organisation for Emergency Use License, he said the ministry had accepted a gift of 2,000 doses and held it in bond pending documentation.

The current case was no different as was done for documentation over the years.

Deyalsingh denied the Chief Medical Officer wasn’t apprised of the development since he said the CMO had commented on it. He said once the ministry was informed by Customs about the vaccines, the ministry liaised with Customs and took the vaccines into its custody.

AG – Petrotrin reviewing A&V matter

On a matter away from the vaccines, Mark’s query on the outcome of the A&V Oil and Gas arbitration with Petrotrin, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the award is for TT $84 million , not $1 billion (as Mark claimed) Petrotrin’s counsel will consider if an appeal is in order.

“The matter’s under review – stop exaggerating the figures when the black and white figures are starting at $84m!“ Al-Rawi declared.

Senior Counsel Deborah Peake heads the lawyers for Petrotrin. He said his ministry never had dealings with the matter, he had no role in it and there was no conflict of interest regarding him.

Al-Rawi noted the matter arose from an ”unconfirmed position“ presented by the Opposition Leader

Meanwhile, Government Senate leader Clarence Rambharat said Government has not taken any decision to privatise the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA).