Trinidad and Tobago: Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), praised Trinidad and Tobago and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Rowley joined Dr. Tedros at a virtual WHO media conference earlier this morning and delivered a statement on the need for vaccine equity.
Dr. Tedros said even without vaccines, using simple public health solutions, Trinidad and Tobago proved from its own experience that the virus could be controlled. He thanked Dr. Rowley for his leadership during the pandemic and congratulated Trinidad and Tobago on vaccinating its first healthcare worker.
Today’s briefing focused on the importance of vaccine equity among countries, especially for fragile and vulnerable groups and for small island states who can miss out on vaccines because they have less bargaining power than bigger countries.
In the meeting, Dr. Rowely made some prominent Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and Chairman of CARICOM, Dr the Hon. Keith Rowley has called for the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine resources for the benefit of all nations.
Dr. Rowley made the call while addressing the World Health Organization’s Media briefing on COVID-19 today (Thursday 18th February 2021).
Prime Minister Rowley said that while there is an understandable rush to receive vaccines, small island states “are more than a little bit concerned that there is, or is to be, hoarding and price gouging as well as undue preference in some quarters.”
The CARICOM Chairman said small states have made and continue to make huge sacrifices in an endeavour to protect their populations from the worst ravages of the virus.
He urged the WHO not to forget about small states.
“All we ask as members of the family of nations is that we not be forgotten, ignored or worse, taken benefit of in this business of life and death.”
Prime Minister Rowley thanked the WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the WHO staff for their continued leadership, guidance, and dedication.
He also said, “Now more than ever you are required to protect us from the many offshoots of the viral era and encourage the science not only to further understand the biology, physiology, and management of the virus but the defeat of its power through equitable distribution of its nemesis, the vaccine.
We anxiously anticipate the promised relief and general benefits that a successful early vaccination program can bring to each of us.”