What is the true figure for expected COVID-19 vaccines and when will these actually arrive?

That’s the question being posed by economic spokesman for the UNC Dave Tancoo who noted various different numbers given by the Health Minister and prime minister recently.

“Apparently they still not speaking to each other,” Tancoo added at the party’s news conference yesterday.

He said the public cannot get an actual date, month or time when vaccines would arrive.

“People are fed up of the minister’s multiple promises about the quantity of vaccines that were coming and when. It appears the quantity they proposed to vaccinate and delivery date changes daily. On an issue as basic as the number of persons to be vaccinated there appears to be confusion in the Government,” he said.

He said on February 1, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said T&T hoped to vaccinate 20 per cent of the population or 280,000 from March 2021 to March 2022.

“He said then that 33 per cent of the population will be vaccinated in the long term. This would mean that for the year the minister expected to get 560,000 doses of the vaccine assuming two doses as exists now. Yet nowhere has he been able to tell us where he’s getting that quantity from.”

Tancoo said some world statistics for achieving herd immunity is to have 50 to 60 per cent of the population vaccinated.

Tancoo noted Prime Minister Keith Rowley last week “joined the confusion.”

“While he could not even tell citizens which month the vaccines are truly due here, he stated Government was looking at getting to a level of vaccinations —approximately 600,000 to 700,000 —because that would be between 60 per cent and 75 per cent of the population,” Tancoo said.

He added, “Using his figures, T&T will have to secure between 1.2 million and 1.4 million doses to vaccinate between 60 and 70 per cent of the population. Where and exactly when are we to get these vaccinations? But the minister’s saying 33 per cent in the long term.”