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PAHO Assistant Director Dr Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr and PAHO Director Carissa Etienne

Trinidad and Tobago’s first batch of the COVAX vaccine is expected to arrive in three weeks.

Johnson and Johnson’s single jab has also received the World Health Organisation (WHO) approval last week and is now part of the COVAX facility.

The new date of delivery was confirmed by the Director of Health Emergencies at the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Assistant Director Dr Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr yesterday during its weekly press briefing.

“We are working with the countries and the producers to expedite the process. We receive the first deployment in three weeks, so by the first week of April all the countries would receive first deployment (of vaccines),” Barbosa said.

“Trinidad and Tobago is ready, is waiting only for the deployment from the producer,” he said.

Barbosa said that all the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are ready for the vaccine and have adopted all the regulatory measures required, including licenses for importation.

Barbosa said that PAHO was trying to achieve a balance in the distribution of the vaccine among the countries.

Director of PAHO, Dr Carissa Etienne yesterday said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued an Emergency Use License for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine, making it the fourth vaccine to be authorized by WHO.

“By offering protection with just one dose, the J&J vaccine promises to accelerate vaccination efforts. COVAX has secured over 100 million doses of the J&J vaccine in 2021 and up to 500 million through 2022, with doses expected to start arriving in July,” she said.

Etienne said that the good news was that vaccine deliveries were “picking up throughout our region”.

“Every COVAX-participating country in the Americas knows exactly how many doses they will be receiving before the end of May,” she said.

According to reports and confirmed by Etienne, last week COVAX and PAHO’s Revolving Fund delivered nearly 400,000 doses to the region.

“Earlier this week, the first shipment made its way to Jamaica. Over the next few days, our Revolving Fund will be delivering nearly 728,000 vaccines to five countries. PAHO has placed orders for more than 3.4 million doses so far,” Etienne said.

Etienne said that as of yesterday, nearly 138 million doses of COVID vaccines have been administered in the

Americas, although just 28 million of these doses have taken place in Latin America and the Caribbean.