Caroni East MP Dr Rishad Seecharan has taken issue with comments from police on the issue of parents vaccinating children, noting that parents were entitled to choose whether or not their children should be vaccinated.
In September, Sgt Valerie Hospedales during a television programme said a parent’s refusal to get a child vaccinated against covid19 could be likened to a form of child abuse.
During his contribution on the 2022 budget debate in Parliament on Saturday, Seecharan described the comments as unfortunate and said while vaccination was encouraged it should be a decision left to parents.
He added that the risk of children experiencing adverse effects or dying from the coronavirus was relatively low.
"A child's risk of becoming ill from covid19 is extremely low and in very rare cases they need hospitalisation. The great majority of children between the ages of three and 18 that have passed away have had pre-existing medical complications and that is a fact.
"In the UK, children ages 12 to 15 are asked to only take one shot of the Pfizer vaccine and not two, the reason for this is the risk of a condition from myocardiatis or inflammation of the heart muscle which causes heart palpitations and chest pain.
"What the UK has said is that the risk is small after one dose of the Pfizer vaccine and much higher after two and the benefits gained after one shot is very similar after two."
Noting the contagious nature of the covid19 delta variant Seecharan called on Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh to consider making a third booster shot available to people in at-risk categories.
He said booster shots while not approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), they were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC).