Trinidad and Tobago will get a total of 140,000 doses of two different types of COVID-19 vaccines donated by India and China.
The Government of India on Wednesday officially informed Port of Spain that 40,000 doses of the World Health Organization (WHO)-approved AstraZeneca vaccine have now been approved for donation to the twin-island republic.
A statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister added that China has also offered 100,000 doses of another vaccine, Sinopharm, “to support and safeguard the health of the people of Trinidad and Tobago”.
“The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has graciously accepted this generous offer of the Sinopharm vaccine as we anxiously await WHO approval,” the statement said, adding that Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has expressed his sincerest appreciation and gratitude to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping of China for their generosity.
“All relevant arrangements are being made for the shipment of the vaccines to Port of Spain.”
The announcement came two days after Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Senator Dr. Emery Browne and Indian High Commissioner Arun Kumar Sahu agreed to work together on the vaccine issue.
That came out of a meeting on Monday, amid tensions between Sahu and Rowley over whether India’s vaccine facility was made available to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states.
Sahu issued a statement the previous day, seeking to clarify the timeline of events surrounding the offer of the donations and his role in communicating it, after saying that he felt personally attacked by statements Prime Minister Rowley had made on the issue.
The High Commissioner had said although Trinidad and Tobago’s request for a vaccine donation may have been too late, efforts would still be made to assist.
He’d said at the time, however, that no time frame could be given for when that would happen.