Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Dr Rai Ragbir is urging people to get the covid19 vaccination once it becomes available in TT. He said vaccines to prevent covid19 are perhaps the best hope of ending the global pandemic.
In a release, Ragbir said the outbreaks of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus in 2003 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in 2012 stimulated and prompted global and scientific research for a vaccine.
He wrote, “As a medical professional, I fully understand and appreciate that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated; however, I wish to assure you that tremendous work, studies and trials have gone into the development of the vaccine so that patient safety remains of paramount importance in the use of the vaccine. In 2020 the coronavirus is once more on our doorsteps but scientific and medical teams from Oxford in the United Kingdom had already developed a vaccine for MERS in 2019, so it meant that the world did not have to start from scratch in its quest to find a vaccine against the current coronavirus.”
He said on January 11, 2020, Chinese scientists published and shared with the scientific world the genetic sequence of the coronavirus, which taught the world that it was possible for a rapid intensification of a manufactured vaccine for use in a safe manner.
Ragbir said the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna covid19 vaccines are based on MRNAs, which do not use the live virus that causes covid19 but a spike protein, which teaches the immune system what that virus looks like. Once educated, the immune system will vigorously attack the actual virus, if it ever enters the body. The AstraZeneca vaccination utilizes an ADENOVirus, similar to the one that causes the common cold.
He said as of January 9, 2021, over 138 million doses had been administered across 73 countries, with minimal adverse effects to the people receiving it. He said the vaccine had been scientifically tried and tested, and had proven to be highly effective in preventing the coronavirus. He said this meant even if someone catches the coronavirus, the vaccine will prevent them from becoming severely ill or dying. He said experts continue to conduct further research on the effectiveness of the vaccine, through measurement of anti-body testing, and no preservatives or animal products were used in the manufacture of the vaccine.
Ragbir said people with a previous severe allergic reaction to the first dose of the covid19 vaccine and those experiencing covid19 symptoms who are confined or in isolation or in quarantine should not receive the vaccine.
He said TT is in a very fortunate position as the allocation and distribution of the vaccines are being carried out through the Covax System, “which is being managed systematically and fairly by the World Health Organization. Importantly as well, the ethics, scientific safeguards and the environmental compliance of the vaccine’s manufacturing and efficacy, are all being closely monitored by the WHO.”
Ragbir said, “We are extremely fortunate that in such a short space of time a vaccine/s have been developed which can complement all other health protocols, so that being vaccinated becomes the ultimate protection against contracting and spreading of the virus. Therefore, being vaccinated will not only protect you, but protect those with whom you are in contact with, especially those in the immediate household; you may be an asymptomatic carrier and passing the virus to loved ones”.