A CONSIGNMENT of 50,000 doses of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines have arrived in the country.
Chief Medical Officer( CMO) Simone Keizer- Beache confirmed yesterday that a shipment of component one of Sputnik V purchased by government, arrived late Tuesday night.
Sputnik V, which is the Covid-19 vaccine that Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves received at the beginning stages of the vaccine drive; is administered in two doses. The first shot is different to the second shot.
The CMO explained that component two will arrive in August. The shots are not expected to expire until the end of the year.
Previously, SVG received a quantity of Sputnik V sufficient for 820 persons. However, the vaccine that has been widely available to the population through the COVAX facility has been the AstraZeneca vaccine.
COVAX, is a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI); Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance; and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
St Vincent and the Grenadines( SVG) received vaccines at no cost through the COVAX Mechanism’s Advance market commitment (AMC).
On the subject of whether we will be purchasing Covid-19 vaccines regularly, Keizer-Beache said that at this point SVG has exhausted its share through the COVAX facility’s free vaccines,
and unless there are any donations in the future, any vaccines the country gets will have to be purchased. Further,going forward, the country has to be prepared for the fact that booster shots may be needed next year.
The CMO made the point that all other vaccines that come into the country are purchased, such as the MMR(measles, mumps, and rubella), and the tetanus vaccines, and it may just be something that has to be done.
Several persons, hesitant about taking the AstraZeneca vaccine, had stated that they were waiting on the availability of the Sputnik V vaccines to be vaccinated. As a result of the hesitancy the government had to donate several thousand vaccines to Trinidad so they would not expire. As at Wednesday, July 14, the total number of doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered to the population stood at 25,509. The CMO revealed that this month there has been a slight increase in vaccine uptake.
“…Last month we were seeing more persons coming for their second dose. Now, if you are getting a certain number, three quarters would be first dose, and a quarter would be second dose; so we’re seeing there’s a gradual pick-up,” the CMO noted.