Two hundred thousand doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, bought from China, landed in the country yesterday.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne told Guadian Media that this is the “largest consignment of vaccines to arrive here thus far.”
This is also the first set of vaccines that T&T commercially acquired outside of the COVAX facility.
“The global marketplace is very much skewed in favour of the larger populations and markets,” Browne said yesterday.
Browne, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh and China Ambassador Fang Qiu were on hand to receive the shipment at the Piarco International Airport yesterday afternoon.
The vaccines arrived precisely at 1.37 pm and were transferred to a secured storage facility.
“It is very important that we have been able to leverage our long-standing relations with the People’s Republic of China to access earlier donations and this current purchase of WHO-approved Sinopharm vaccines which have seen wide acceptance and appreciation in our nation,” Browne said.
In March China’s President Xi Jinping met virtually with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for bilateral talks which included the acquisition of vaccines. Since then T&T has received a donation of 100,000 vaccines.
This second batch was purchased using money from a loan from the Chinese Government.
While Browne could not say when these vaccines would join the national rollout plan or whether they would be used exclusively for second doses for citizens, the Ministry of Health revealed some details.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health, announced the arrival of the Sinopharm vaccines, said they will be used to provide both first and second doses of the vaccine to members of the public.