Minister Terrence Deyalsingh speaking to the media at the San Fernando General Hospital on New Year’s Day. Photo: Sue-Ann Wayow
By Sue-Ann Wayow
THE Covid-19 vaccine is unsafe for pregnant women, children and people with allergies.
This according to Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh speaking to the media after meeting with mothers of new-born babies at the San Fernando General Hospital on Friday – New Year’s Day.
He reminded the public that Trinidad and Tobago was in the process of procuring vaccines for the population which were expected to arrive in March and that much clinical data was still needed.
Deyalsingh said with the present information, it was still unsafe to administer vaccines to pregnant women, children under 18 and people with allergies.
By March, and after many vaccines have been administered, the minister is hoping to be able to provide more information.
“Let us use this period from January to February to March to look at more data,” Deyalsingh said.
Apart from talks with the suppliers of two vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 and Oxford’s AstraZeneca’s Covid-19, approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Deyalsingh said the government was in bilateral discussions with the Chinese state-owned company that developed the vaccine Sinopharm, and the Government of China to possibly procure those vaccines which were presently in phase III and awaiting approval from WHO.
Sinopharm announced on December 30 that phase three trials of the vaccine showed that it was 79% effective.
The Government was also seeking to procure vaccines from the COVAX facility.
Deyalsingh said Trinidad and Tobago needed a vaccine which was “safe, effective and which the population can trust.”
He said T&T was probably one of the safest and best places to be as the world continues to reel from the Covid-19 pandemic that overturned 2020.
He said that 2021 will be a better year for all only if there was continued adherence to all Covid-19 protocols.
The minister ranked T&T amongst the best in the world with reference to the Covid-19 management alongside New Zealand and Vietnam.
Those countries did well because it had the highest involvement from its political leaders he said.
He stated, “The government’s position on closed borders is what saved the country from mass importation of the virus.”
Deyalsingh said that Trinidad and Tobago’s case fatality ratio was very low, 1.77 % compared with the global average of 3% and the most affected country with 29%.
He said that lessons were learned from past pandemics or else “we would have been doomed from the start.”
The minister also said by mid-January, the number of positive Covid-19 cases reported would reveal if during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the population followed the health and safety protocols.
Deyasingh thanked the population for continued support and understanding and singled out Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram in whom he said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had absolute confidence in.
He congratulated the mothers who gave birth to ten babies at various hospitals in Trinidad on the first day of the year.
The first three babies including the only two males were born at the San Fernando General Hospital with the first child, a baby boy being born to Asha Dookie at 12.06 am.
At 1.45 am, Kerlise Farraday gave birth to a baby girl and Jacinta Williams gave birth to a boy at 2.49 am.
Mt Hope Maternity Hospital recorded three births between the hours of 3 am and 5 am. Proud mothers are Alleah Burke, Shakera Jerry and Naomi Cedeno.
Port-of-Spain General Hospital reported three births between 3.20 am and 5.40 am with mothers being Dallyah Wallace, Selene Yearwood and Shannon Beharry-Holder.
And Sangre Grande Hospital reported the last birth for the morning period with Shinneil Mahabir giving birth at 9.08 am.