Opposition Member of Parliament for Cumuto/Manzanilla, Dr. Rai Ragbir, claims the government is jeopardizing the country’s entire population, having failed in every way to secure life-saving vaccines from the Serum Institute of India.
Dr. Ragbir questioned the Government’s wisdom or lack thereof in seeking an accommodation with the African Union to access vaccines. He said 55 countries make up the African Union, with a population of 1.5 billion, and understandably would prioritize use of its vaccines for its population.
In a media release the Opposition MP said according to world standards, it is estimated that Africa will need 1.5 billion vaccine doses to immunize 60 percent of its 1.3 billion inhabitants, if the continent is to begin building any serious immunity against the virus, and therefore, Trinidad and Tobago is not high up on their list of priorities.
Dr. Ragbir pointed to information contained in the Africa News, which was published since January to substantiate his claim, quoting the Director of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr John Nkengasong.
However, it was noted by Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Dr. Amery Browne, at the Ministry of Health’s Virtual news briefing today that this country has confirmed supply, via the African Union, of over two hundred thousand doses of the Covid19 vaccine that has already been arranged and is awaiting a date of arrival to Trinidad and Tobago.
This information was revealed as the Minister stated that the first supply of vaccines from the Covax Facility will be in Trinidad and Tobago within the next several weeks.
Minister Browne explained the Indian private manufacturing company which was contacted by this country for COVID-19 vaccines could not facilitate any more orders.
Minister Browne disclosed how this country went about the process and explained the team work approach between the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs and the Ministry of Health on this matter.