Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as a guest of Tobago Channel 5 yesterday morning.

Trinidad and Tobago will be in line to receive COVID vaccines within the first quarter of 2021.

In an interview on Tobago Channel 5 yesterday, Dr Rowley said, the Ministry of Health would focus on those groups being exposed the most, including healthcare workers and the elderly who are more susceptible, followed by the rest of the population. He said T&T was a part of the COVAX group among 162 countries, putting this country in a much better place to respond to the virus.

“How it was done, all the countries put up money to drive the science on the understanding that when we find the cure, it would be shared on a particular formula around everybody worldwide and we are a part of that, so our turn will come. We are anticipating that given the numbers being produced and the availability and its use going forward, that we, sometime March going into April, Trinidad and Tobago should be in line to get our share,” he said.

He said vaccines would be distributed on a phased basis.

“We are looking for enough in the first instance to do somewhere between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of the population and you get different tranches and of course we also anticipate that different suppliers can come into the market as we go forward so it becomes more available,” he said

Commenting on the new strain of the virus, Dr Rowley said, people should continue to follow the stipulated guidelines to protect themselves.

“Biologically it is possible that a new strain could come up which makes the tested and approved vaccines impotent, so we are not seeing that and the reports are and of course the scientific investigations continue worldwide on new strains as well as the old strains to put humans in a better position to hold the forth. We still will have to do that physical thing which is try and avoid the virus coming to you.”