The US Embassy to Trinidad and Tobago has attracted online mockery after announcing that it has donated 80 vials of COVID-19 vaccine to the island nation of 1.4 million people.
In a tweet posted late Sunday local time, the US embassy in Port of Spain, the country’s capital, announced the donation, saying that “every vaccine counts.”
“The government of the United States of America has made a donation of COVID-19 vaccines to the government of Trinidad and Tobago. The donation includes 80 vials of Pfizer vaccines. The United States is committed to assisting the Government of Trinidad and Tobago with its vaccination efforts. We believe that every vaccine counts,” the tweet read.
A single vial of Pfizer vaccine can produce five doses, and is administered in two shots 21 days apart, meaning that the gift is likely to yield some 400 shots and could vaccinate 200 people.
The tweet has been widely shared, with many comments expressing surprise at the size of the gift compared to Trinidad and Tobago’s population of 1.4 million. Many mocked the gift, with some users sharing memes about the donation.
The embassy’s original tweet has been quote-tweeted more than 1,800 times at time of writing, and garnered over 400 replies.
Trinidad and Tobago’s National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds told local newspaper the Trinidad Daily Express that the vials were going to be given to the National Security Ministry.
“This has nothing to do with any large donation that we expect is being considered by the United States Government,” Hinds told the paper.
“This is just a small number for the Ministry of National Security as a gift which we are happy to accept.”
Trinidad and Tobago has seen 670 deaths and nearly 29,000 cases of the virus. The country had a steep rise in cases and deaths in May this year, having escaped with a much lower number of cases in the global pandemic’s first surge.
During May’s surge, the US donated two field hospitals, comprising 80 beds in total to Trinidad and Tobago, the embassy announced.