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Minister: Demand for AstraZeneca plummets, more Pfizer allocated for adults

Rishard Khan

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The pub­lic’s de­mand for the Ox­ford-As­traZeneca COVID-19 vac­cines have «plum­met­ted» ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter of Health Ter­rence Deyals­ingh.

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«The de­mand for As­traZeneca, for what­ev­er rea­sons, has plum­met­ed to al­most 0…this is a pat­tern you see week on week,» he said dur­ing yes­ter­day’s vir­tu­al press con­fer­ence.

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He said on any giv­en day be­tween 800 to 1,000 peo­ple would ac­cess Sinopharm vac­cines and be­tween 2,000 to 2,500 would ac­cess Pfiz­er.

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«Yes­ter­day (Sun­day) no per­son ac­cessed As­traZeneca I be­lieve. The da­ta I have here up to Thurs­day- 10 per­sons on Thurs­day, sev­en per­sons last week Wednes­day, 13 per­sons last week Tues­day and that is how it goes,» he said.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

Giv­en the Ox­ford-As­traZeneca dos­es’ short shelflife, he said T&T has been ex­plor­ing its do­na­tion to oth­er coun­tries through the Min­istry of For­eign and Cari­com Af­fairs. He said they al­so no­ti­fied the Pan Amer­i­can Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (PA­HO) through the CO­V­AX fa­cil­i­ty.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

«We have these dos­es, we are giv­ing you a full two months no­tice so any coun­try, any donee coun­try, any re­ceiv­ing coun­try- you have a full two months to ac­cept and utilise As­traZeneca vac­cines,» he said.

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The de­mand for the Pfiz­er-BioN­Tech’s COVID-19 vac­cine among the adult pop­u­la­tion has been more favourable than that among those be­tween 12 to 18 years- its orig­i­nal­ly in­tend­ed re­cip­i­ents. But with the Delta vari­ant’s de­tec­tion among the pop­u­la­tion and the near­ing ex­pi­ra­tion date on the jabs gov­ern­ment has in­ject­ed 50,000 more Pfiz­er dos­es in­to the na­tion­al vac­ci­na­tion dri­ve for adults. 

Deyals­ingh said the dos­es will be made avail­able while al­so re­serv­ing some for the most crit­i­cal de­mo­graph­ic- chil­dren be­tween 12 and 18 years. 

«We will still ring-fence those dos­es for chil­dren but I am urg­ing par­ents…I am ask­ing par­ents in a very sin­cere way… don’t let your chil­dren be sit­ting ducks for the Delta vari­ant please,» he said.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

While Pfiz­er has ap­plied to the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA) for ap­proval to use its COVID-19 vac­cine in chil­dren be­tween the ages of five and 11, the Min­is­ter of Health said T&T will be wait­ing on the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s (WHO) ap­proval be­fore adopt­ing the ap­proach here.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

«Our pol­i­cy in Trinidad and To­ba­go is to let WHO look at da­ta from 193 coun­tries be­fore we make pol­i­cy de­ci­sions on who re­ceives vac­cines and who should not be re­ceiv­ing vac­cines. Whether it’s boost­er shots or chil­dren,» he said.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

«The Sinopharm vac­cine I be­lieve is al­ready be­fore the WHO for sign-off for younger chil­dren. So that one is maybe clos­er to the fin­ish line as far as WHO is con­cerned.»

.O.U.R.

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