Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says he is hopeful that the population would reach a level of inoculation that would allow it to reopen its borders.
“I have had information which I have not shared publicly because I have been provided with that information from quarters in a confidential way. So as leader of the country I know a little bit more than the average citizen. And very soon we expect to receive quite an allocation of vaccines,” he said at a news conference in Tobago yesterday.
“The bottom line is that we are well on track to having the vaccines that we have signed on to, paid for, and which are authorised,” he added.
The Prime Minister said one of the strictures was that any vaccine had to have World Health Organisation (WHO) approval before the Government places an order for it to be used on the population. He said there was one Caricom country which had approved the use of Russian and Chinese vaccines which are not approved by WHO. “And of course some people might say they are proactive and they are taking steps to have their population inoculated,” he said.
He asked what would the citizenry think if a vaccine which is not WHO approved is used on the population of this country which turns out to be damaging or dangerous. “Ole talk is cheap but looking after the population of Trinidad and Tobago is my job,” he said.
“Once we are sufficiently inoculated the borders will be opened quickly,” he said. He said to allow interaction with other populations before this level of inoculation is achieved would destroy the gains that the country had made. “The last thing we would want is to get ahead of ourselves and run and open the borders and get infected,” he said.
Rowley said it is only after vaccination, can the opening of the border become a reality.
He said vaccines are becoming more available, citing the fact that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been the latest vaccine to be approved by the WHO.