Opposition tells T&T gov’t to change plans as COVID-19 vaccine expiration date looms

As the expiration date looms for COVID-19 vaccines received through the COVAX facility, Trinidad and Tobago’s Opposition is calling on the government to better utilise the jabs.

The United National Congress (UNC) has encouraged the government to ramp up the administration of the first dose of the vaccine to citizens, even while they wait to administer second doses. This, they say, will reduce wastage. 

UNC Member of Parliament Dr Rishad Seecheran says given that the vaccines received through COVAX will expire on May 31, the objective should be to administer as many jabs as possible.

Seecheran said the decision must be made to adapt a “first dose first” strategy.

“This would allow second doses to be administered at the end of May 2021, with the remaining 100,800 doses from COVAX,” explained Dr Seecheran.

“The US is considering a ‘first dose first’ strategy like the UK’s, as are Germany and Ireland. We here in Trinidad and Tobago should seriously consider giving most of our citizens some form of immunity as soon as possible, as no concrete agreement has been forthcoming in attaining one million doses in 2021,” he added.

According to the MP, this strategy would enable the most vulnerable to immediately get their first dose and achieve 76 per cent immunity against COVID-19.