THE country has received 1,400 doses of the monkeypox vaccine from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to a release from the Ministry of Health yesterday, the first of two shipments from the WHO, via the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) vaccine acquisition platform, arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday.
This means at present, vaccines will be available to 700 people, as this vaccine has a two-dose regimen.
The WHO-approved vaccine referred to as the “mpox” vaccine, based on recommendations made by the National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) will only be administered to people who are close contacts of confirmed positive cases.
However, individuals under the age of 18 and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding will not be allowed to receive the vaccine.
Additionally, the vaccines will also be used as a post-exposure preventative vaccination (PEPV) programme.
Another batch coming
The second shipment of another 1,400 doses is expected in “the near future”, according to the ministry. As such, this will push the accessibility of the mpox vaccine to 1,400 people.
The ministry also said a mass vaccination campaign will not be put in place at this time.
Instead, the County Medical Officers of Health (CMOHs) will contact those who are deemed eligible.
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of monkeypox in Trinidad and Tobago.
However, globally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 82,550 cases as of Tuesday.