Covid-19 vaccine for venezuelans in Trinidad and Tobago who need it

Photo by Loop

 

CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says anyone who needs the COVID-19 vaccine, including Venezuelan migrants, will receive it, in order to curb the spread of the virus.

By Loop 

Speaking at a COVID-19 media briefing with Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, today, Dr Rowley said there would be no discrimination in the administering of the vaccine:

‘We in TT have a fairly significant number of migrants within our border and we acknowledge the nature of the problem and we will only be successful in protecting our local population if everyone within our border gets the same kind of treatment, because to have a migrant population that is not covered…is to maintain an environment where the virus would be a permanent feature.’

‘Our effort of contact tracing will identify persons, whether they’re migrants or not and if they’re persons of interest with respect to our effort we have to treat them…so that they do not suffer…and also will not pose a threat.’

‘We do have to look at everybody…fortunately, we have had relatively low levels of spread…within that particular population. We are not discriminating against persons because that would make nonsense of our effort.’

The first of the country’s first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines, which were received as a gift from Barbados, were administered to a number of frontline healthcare workers yesterday at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility.

The country is also expecting a shipment of around 100,000 vaccines via the COVAX facility, following the vaccine’s approval for emergency use by WHO.

Recently, government announced the extension of a national registration program for Venezuelan migrants which would allow them to legally work in the country.

However there have been reports of deportation exercises of undocumented migrants from Venezuela, as well as the tragic deaths of several migrants who drowned at sea after leaving Venezuela in an attempt to reach Trinidad and Tobago.

Between 2016 and November 2019, more than 4.6 million men, women, and children have left Venezuela in search of a better future, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).