CMO: Too early to see impact of covid19 vaccination programme

CMO Dr Roshan Parasram - Photo by Roger Jacob
CMO Dr Roshan Parasram - Photo by Roger Jacob

Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram said it is too early to see the impact of the covid19 vaccination programme in Trinidad and Tobago.

At the Ministry of Health's virtual press conference on Monday, Parasram said, “I haven’t seen the full impact of the vaccination kicking it, based on the trajectory of the curve that we saw, but it is a little early. Most people start to see some sort of effect when you get 20 per cent vaccinated. Then when you go beyond 40 per cent and 60 per cent you begin to see much more of an impact on the population level.

“We are hoping if we can get those numbers up really quickly, by people to continue to following covid19 guidelines and taking the vaccine when it becomes available to them, it'll bring us to that state in a much quicker timeframe."

Over the weekend Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, on his Facebook page, announced that the country had successfully fully vaccinated 100,000 people – almost ten per cent of the population.

The country launched its national vaccination programme on April 6. Since then over 219,000 people have had their first shot of a vaccine. Of these, over 112,000 people have also had their second dose and are now fully vaccinated.

Up to Monday morning, the death toll stood at 892.

Parasram said the focus now is to finish vaccinating the group identified in phase one of the programme. This includes health care workers, those over 60 and people under 60 with comorbidities. By keeping the focus on completing the vaccination of this group, Parasram said there should be a decrease in deaths and hospitalisation of people in that category.

“When we look at where the deaths have been occurring in the country you'll find that 84.8 per cent of the deaths, so far due to covid19, are persons over 50, and below 50, most of the time, are those with comorbidities.,,

“We want to get all the persons in phase one completed in the shortest possible period of time so we would see that reduction in hospitalisation and deaths, even if the infection continues to rise.”

The programme’s focus will then shift to getting as many people as possible vaccinated as soon as possible.

"I can’t put a time on it because we don’t know how the uptake will be like. We don’t know how many people will subscribe to taking the vaccine. But we will try our best,” he said.

Parasram pointed out that 97 per cent of the country remains naive in terms of immunisation.

“We need to get that down as quickly as we can by using immunisation at a population level…We expect as the number of cases decreases and the number of immunised persons increases, we will have a decrease in the number of cases and of course deaths.”


"CMO: Too early to see impact of covid19 vaccination programme"

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