One of the largest conglomerates in the region, ANSA McAL has announced it would offer COVID-19 vaccines freely to all 6,000 of its employees and their immediate families once vaccines become available in a drive themed the “ANSA McAL VacciNat on Initiative.

“In a release on Friday, the company said it believes that the private sector has a part to play in support of Government’s measures of getting the COVID-19 vaccine shot in the arms of every citizen who wants it.

The company encouraged others in the private sector to follow suit, the nation would be better for it.”If other members of the private sector, in turn, commit to doing the same with its own population of staff the shared burden of responsibility would mean the country and region will get back on its feet so much faster,” it said.

The group said it intends to work in conjunction with the Ministry of Health in rolling out its initiative noting that “we’re all in this together. “The vaccination of its employees builds upon ANSA McAL’s on-going COVID-19 public education awareness campaign titled: “A small dose of Hope.”

It’s intended to inform and educate the general population on the need for taking the COVID-19 vaccine and to counter “some of the misleading sources of information in the public domain that create confusion and uncertainty.”

“As a regional conglomerate, ANSA McAL is totally committed to using all its resources in helping the Caribbean recover from the huge negative impact of the pandemic,” the statement said. Meanwhile, acting Minister of Planning and Development, Allyson West, announced the Support for Vulnerable Populations Affected by Coronavirus in Trinidad and Tobago (SUVPAC) Programme.

The agreement signed with the Inter-American Development Bank on Tuesday will see US$24.45 million deployed “in the urgent execution of COVID-19 management measures geared towards ensuring minimum levels of quality of life for vulnerable persons amid the crisis caused by the pandemic in Trinidad and Tobago.”In a release.

Minister West said: “This agreement will support minimum income for those affected by the coronavirus in the immediate period and during the recovery. The agreement does not see Trinidad and Tobago taking on additional debt but instead redirects existing uncommitted loan resources to new and urgent high priority public investment areas that require financing during this critical period.” 

Reporter: Rishard Khan