SWRHA CEO Dr Brian Armour said while he could not give specific details about a man who collapsed after receiving a covid19 vaccine at the C3 vaccination site on Saturday, people have had near-fainting spells after receiving the vaccines.
Speaking at the Health Ministry’s virtual media conference on Monday, Armour said he could not comment on the details of the particular case observed by Newsday on Saturday at the vaccination site at the mall in San Fernando,.
Health officials attended to the man, who fell to the floor while in the observation area for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the C3 Centre on Saturday.
Armour said: “I’d like to emphasise the general principle – we do have people, we saw it with the Pfizer as well, and it was mentioned in the public conference – where people would get near-fainting spells, whether it is due to anxiety about the vaccine, or whether it is due to a medical condition."
When these incidents occur, he said, “We have everything available as per policy: all the resuscitation equipment, the medical personnel, and an ambulance close by."
He also said as far as he knew there had been no long-term adverse events.
"And that would normally be brought to my attention, if there is any serious adverse event, for which there are reporting frameworks throughout the Health Ministry to PAHO.
"So I can’t comment on individual details, but there is a protocol in place, and so far, at least for the SWRHA, we have not had any major untoward adverse events causing serious morbidity.”
The US Centers for Disease Control have said there have been reports of fainting in a few patients with nearly all covid19 vaccines, but they generally recover after a few minutes.
Armour said as of Sunday, the SWRHA had administered 24,067 first doses and 15,683 second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine; 98,734 first doses and 90,479 second doses of Sinopharm; 12,537 first doses and 2,690 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine; and 4,359 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
He said there had been a 77 per cent uptake by health care workers, though the RHA was still working with the nursing team, among whom uptake was at 56 per cent.
Armour said people who wanted to access vaccines through the SWRHA could visit any convenient health care centre, find the updates posted on the RHA’s social media pages, call 87-SWRHA 24/7 toll-free, or access its community road trip and mall vaccination sites.
He said so far 223 shut-in people had been immunised, and vaccination coverage had been extended to 59 elderly homes in the RHA’s jurisdiction. He encouraged people whose relatives are not vaccinated to call or e-mail the authority so it could come to them.
Responding to a query about availability of vaccines at certain SWRHA sites, Armour said the opening and closing of sites depended on the demand and the number of people who showed up. He said only one site was prone to regular flooding , while others would have been affected by national adverse weather events.