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Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh

The Ministry of Health said yesterday that the COVAX Facility does not deal with middlemen or agents but only with member states. The ministry issued a statement seeking to clarify what it said was misinformation in the public domain. The following is the ministry’s full statement:

“The Ministry of Health takes serious note of statements being put into the public domain, which may lend itself to undue confusion in the mind of the population as it relates to COVID-19 vaccine procurement and distribution.

For the record, the following facts on this matter are provided for the public’s consumption. COVAX Facility The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) deals with member states and not third parties, middlemen or agents, as is being erroneously stated.

Vaccines from PAHO have always been consigned to the Ministry of Health (MoH)/NIPDEC and the same applies for the AstraZeneca vaccine. This vaccine is being supplied via the COVAX facility, using the PAHO revolving fund as a procurement facility, as has been the practice for over 40 years.

African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) Trinidad and Tobago has signed off on the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines via the AMSP, which utilises a similar purchasing and distribution philosophy to the COVAX facility.

AMSP has made available to CARICOM states a block of 1 ? million doses of vaccines and has confirmed receipt of Trinidad and Tobago’s pre-order for 226,000 doses. Similar to the COVAX facility, these vaccines are not consigned to any local distributor, as is also being erroneously said in the public domain.

We urge the public to be wary of false information. The MoH takes this opportunity to reassure the national population that only World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccines will be imported and administered to our local population and this will be done equitably.”