Canada’s Minister of International Development Karina Gould has announced that the Government will send more than 82,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which it does not need, to Trinidad and Tobago.
In a statement late Wednesday, the Government of Canada said the twin-island republic was selected for the donation “based on need and the country’s capacity to deploy them immediately, minimizing wastage, and maximizing the public health impact”.
“The Government of Canada will share over 82,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Trinidad and Tobago via a bilateral agreement. These are doses that had already arrived in Canada, but are in excess of our domestic needs,” it.
“These excess doses will be delivered to Trinidad and Tobago in the coming days, and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will manage the administration of the vaccines in accordance with manufacturing guidelines and public health best practices.”
The Canadian government said it is committed to doing its part to support equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines around the world, including supporting its regional partners in the Caribbean that have felt the impacts of the pandemic acutely.
“Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 continues to be the best strategy to end the pandemic. By redirecting excess doses we do not need here in Canada, we are supporting global efforts to fight this virus, and ensuring vaccines get to those in need. Canadians know that no one is safe until everyone is safe,” Gould said.
Canada’s Minister of Health Patty Hajdu added that while the North American country continues its vaccine rollout, it must also ensure that the rest of the world has access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
“Today’s donation to Trinidad & Tobago will provide excess doses to those most in need, protecting communities around the world,” she said.