THE government of India has donated 500,000 AstraZeneca covid19 vaccines to the Caribbean. But there is some confusion about which countries received what.
Here’s what we know.
A Caricom release said secretary-general Irwin LaRoque thanked India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi “for his generous contribution of 500,000 doses of covid19 vaccines to the Caribbean Community, calling it ‘a tangible expression of goodwill in this challenging time.’”
India donated 100,000 vaccines to Barbados.
Subsequently, Barbados donated 1,500 to Guyana, 2,000 to Trinidad and Tobago, 1,000 to St Lucia and 500 to Grenada. Belizean media has also reported that Barbados pledged to donate 1,000 vaccines to Belize and that its Prime Minister John Briceño accepted the offer.
India donated 70,000 vaccines to Dominica.
Dominica then donated 2,000 to St Lucia, 5,000 to Antigua and Barbuda, 5,000 to St Vincent and the Grenadines, 2,000 to St Kitts and Nevis, and 500 to Grenada.
At a press conference last Tuesday, Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley said, “(Dominica’s) Prime Minister (Roosevelt) Skeritt and myself worked really close(ly) on this and I want to thank him.
India donated 40,000 vaccines to Antigua and Barbuda, but they have not yet arrived. A Facebook post by the Office of the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda said, “A precise arrival date has not yet been fixed.
“The Indian Government has confirmed this evening at about 6.30 pm that any vaccines to be shipped to Antigua will be at the Indian Government’s expense. In all likelihood, the doses will be shipped via air cargo…”
Additionally, in a radio interview this week, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves said Modi had “approved a grant” for 40,000 vaccines to be donated.
Not only Caricom members benefited from these donations, as India also donated 30,000 vaccines to the Dominican Republic. In a tweet on Thursday, the country’s Minister of the Interior and Police Raquel Peña said the vaccines would arrive on Friday. She said, “I thank the Prime Minister (of India), @NarendraModi, for your support at this important time for our country and its people.”
This leaves 220,000 vaccines unaccounted for. It has not yet been made public which are the remaining countries to receive donations.
The remaining Caricom members yet to receive from India’s donation – whether directly or indirectly – include the Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat and Suriname.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh mistakenly said the 2,000 vaccines TT received were “part of a gift from India.” He later corrected himself, saying he had been misinformed and that Barbados had donated TT’s current supply.
Newsday e-mailed India’s health ministry for more information but had received no feedback up to press time on Friday.