The United States of America is once again pledging millions of doses of approved vaccines to help countries battle COVID-19.
In a tweet yesterday US President Joe Biden said that “America will never be fully safe while this pandemic is raging globally. That’s why today, I’m announcing that over the next six weeks we will send 80 million vaccine doses overseas.”
Last month the US promised to share some 60 million doses with poorer countries but that storage was tainted and could not be used again.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne yesterday said that this latest announcement “goes well beyond the previous COVID-19 vaccines commitment that was made by the USA to the global community.
“President Biden made it very clear that his nation intends to be the global leader in actively ensuring improved vaccine access to other countries during this phase of the pandemic, and that is excellent news for the developing world, for Caricom, and for T&T,” Browne said.
“The Government of T&T has strongly and consistently continued to use all available channels of communication and diplomacy to press home the international advocacy conducted by the Keith Rowley as Prime Minister of T&T and as chair of Caricom,” he said.
Browne said that T&T’s Embassy team in Washington DC has been fully mobilised in working with a range of advocates at all levels as the White House finalises the details of exactly how and when these vaccines will be distributed.
“Our excellent communication and collaboration with the US Embassy here in PoS also continues, and I have already fully discussed the new vaccine possibilities with Shante Moore who currently heads their Embassy team,” he said.
“T&T certainly welcomes this new initiative and we continue to work with all involved stakeholders with the objective of bringing home the important benefits for our people,” Browne said.
The US has been using Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson and already shared millions of its AstraZeneca stocks.
At the time of the 60 million dose promise, Browne said that the US asked about utilising the Caribbean Public Health (Carpha) instead of the COVAX facility which was already stressed.
It is unclear now what avenues of distribution would be utilised for this share of the vaccines.