If Trinidad and Tobago receive vaccines from the United States government, they will be used for secondary school students, according to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
At Saturday’s COVID-19 press conference, Dr Rowley said the vaccines from the potential shipment are likely to be Pfizer vaccines – the only vaccine approved by the World Health Organization, thus far, for use on children above the age of 12.
“The first call on those vaccines would be our high school kids population and that will put us in good stead to present them in school in September, so we are hoping no other problem arises with the United States,” Dr Rowley said.
“The risk of young people getting vaccinated and facing the virus with their stronger bodies and taking it to the older population will be significantly reduced.”
The Prime Minister said based on the reports available to the government, at this time, the vaccines could arrive in August.
He said in the absence of the Pfizer donation from the US government, children will not be vaccinated for a potential return to classrooms in August.
The other vaccines available to the country – Sinopharm, AstraZeneca and possibly Johnson and Johson later this month – are not approved by the World Health Organization for use on children.
Dr Rowley told adults who may be waiting for a Pfizer vaccine that they would not be getting it if it comes.
“Let me just say now for the adult population, if there are any of you waiting for Pfizer, as long as you are not in the secondary school population, you will be waiting.”
Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly met with several education sector stakeholders this past week to discuss a potential return to classrooms in August.
The Ministry has issued a draft policy.
Reporter: Joshua Seemungal