Clint Chan Tack
THE Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in its July 27 country report on Trinidad and Tobago, claimed Government’s covid19 vaccination programme may not achieve its target of vaccinating 72 per cent of the population on time, and this could affect the pace of fully reopening the economy.
But the report was not reflective of statements made by the Government before that date about the amount of vaccines in TT and additional doses set to arrive soon.
In the report, the EIU said TT’s vaccination strategy was heavily dependent on Covax, with 33,600 doses from Covax already received and 72,000 more due by September. The EIU also said TT would receive covid19 vaccines from bilateral donors.
But at a news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s on July 3, the Prime Minister said Caricom could expect to receive approximately 800,000 doses of covid9 vaccines from the Africa Medical Supplies Platform by mid-July.
“Of that 800,000, TT is expected to receive just under 200,000.”
He estimated that the final Covax shipment of covid19 vaccines should arrive in August.
On July 12, Dr Rowley said a shipment of 800,000 doses of the Sinopharm covid19 vaccine would arrive in TT on July 13. He said during July, “this country will be significantly vaccinated”.
He estimated that with the vaccines that TT has and others on the way, 900,000 people could be fully vaccinated.
After a tour of a mass vaccination site at the Southern Academy of the Performing Arts in San Fernando on July 20, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said, “By the end of September, the goal is to have fully vaccinated, 600,000 people.
“Herd immunity is roughly 70 per cent of your population. 1.4 million including children.
“So it means to achieve herd immunity, 980,000 people, which is close to 100 per cent of your adult population.”
On July 17, Rowley said efforts are being made to acquire Pfizer covid19 vaccines from the United States and if this happens “the first call on those vaccines would be our high school-age population.”
He said, “That would put us in good stead to present them at school in September.”
The EIU also said implementation of Government’s Road Map to Recovery strategy, launched last May, was important in undertaking a post-pandemic recovery. The EIU was optimistic the plan would “boost job growth through schemes that support innovation and entrepreneurship.”
It said, “The economic recovery from the covid19 crisis will be slow and gradual. We forecast that real GDP will not return to 2019 levels until 2024, and expect real GDP growth to average 1.9 per cent in 2021- 25.”
Its projections “assume that policy uncertainties will gradually wane, allowing for modest improvements in the business environment.”
A a specialist publisher serving companies establishing and managing operations across national borders over the last 60 years, the EIU is based in London, New York, Hong Kong and Geneva.