AstraZeneca News – MoH rubbishes rumours Gov’t in league with agent for Astrazeneca
The Ministry of Health (MoH) says it has taken serious note of statements put into the public domain, as it relates to COVID-19 vaccine procurement and distribution, which it says may create undue confusion.
This comes as Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, during the United National Congress (UNC) virtual report on Monday, suggested that the Government was in league with a company that was distributing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. She questioned whether this was the reason for the delay.
Seeking to bring clarity to the issues raised, the MoH has sought to explain how Trinidad and Tobago has been working to obtain the shot.
In a press release on Wednesday, the Ministry said “The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) deals with member states and not third parties, middlemen or agents, as is being erroneously stated”.
It added that vaccines retrieved from PAHO have always been consigned to the MoH and the National Insurance Property Development Company Limited (NIPDEC). According to the Ministry, the same applies for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“This vaccine is being supplied via the COVAX facility, using the PAHO revolving fund as a procurement facility, as has been the practice for over forty (40) years.”
Meanwhile, the MoH noted that the country has signed off on the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines from the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) which utilises a similar purchasing and distribution philosophy to that of the COVAX facility.
“AMSP has made available to CARICOM states a block of 1 ½ million doses of vaccines and has confirmed receipt of Trinidad and Tobago’s pre-order for 226,000 doses.”
“Similar to the COVAX facility, these vaccines are not consigned to any local distributor, as is also being erroneously said in the public domain.”
The Ministry further warned the public to be wary of false information.
Meanwhile, it reassured the population that only jabs approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be imported and administered in an equitable manner.