This country figured in a BBC report yesterday where a World Health Organization (WHO) official listed T&T alongside Uganda, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh as countries “that have reported running out of vaccines in recent days.”
The report quoted the WHO saying a large number of poorer countries receiving COVID-19 vaccines through a global sharing scheme do not have enough doses to continue programmes. WHO senior adviser Dr Bruce Aylward was quoted saying the Covax programme had delivered 90 million doses to 131 countries, but “this was nowhere near enough to protect populations from a virus still spreading worldwide.”
BBC stated Covax was created last year to ensure COVID-19 doses were made available around the world, with richer countries subsidising costs for poorer nations. Led by the WHO and other international organisations, “Covax initially set a target of providing two billion doses worldwide by the end of 2021.”
“Most of those are being donated to poorer countries, where Covax hopes to distribute enough vaccines to protect at least 20 per cent of the populations. However, the distribution of these vaccines has been hampered by manufacturing delays and supply disruptions, leading to shortages in countries wholly reliant on Covax.”
“Uganda, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Trinidad and Tobago are just some of the countries that have reported running out of vaccines in recent days.”
Aylward said of the 80 low-income countries involved in Covax, at least half don’t have “sufficient vaccines to be able to sustain their programmes right now. If we look at what we’re hearing from countries on a day-to-day basis, well over half of countries have run out of stock and are calling for additional vaccines. In reality, it’s probably much higher.”
T&T’s received supplies from Covax, India, China, Caricom countries and is expecting more Covax supplies and from the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (Avant) in August.