Deyalsingh: Ministry looking into vaccine side-effects complaints

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh

HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said inquiries were under way into complaints of alleged side-effects after taking the Pfizer vaccine, levelled by three young people last Tuesday at a NATUC press conference, in reply to a question by Caroni East Dr Rishad Seecheran in the House of Representatives on Friday.

Deyalsingh said, "Two lines of inquiry are currently being pursued. We are checking our vaccine data bases to see if those persons were in fact vaccinated. Once that is determined the information will be sent to the Chief Medical Officer for a clinical review.

"We are also reviewing the RHA system to see if these persons presented in any of our facilities.

"We are happy to get to the bottom of this issue."

Deyalsingh said it must be determined if any effects were due to vaccination or something else, and based on that finding a treatment plan will be begun.

In a supplemental question, Seecheran asked if adverse events were found in the three would they be reported to the WHO.

Deyalsingh said, "As per protocol all vaccine and drug manufacturers put out their clinical guidelines in their dossiers. What is reported up to the WHO is any adverse event not listed as a known adverse event. So if it is an adverse event not listed on the literature with a vaccine or drug we always report it up the chain of command to the PAHO and WHO."

In a new question, Seecharan asked if the Government’s “quasi safe zone” policy for public sector workplaces would begin on Monday, as initially vowed by the Prime Minister on December 18 at a televised news briefing.

Deyalsingh replied the Prime Minister will address this question. Dr Rowley was expected to do so at a press conference Saturday.

Seecharan, in a third question, asked about the status of the Government’s procurement of Pfizer’s anti-viral covid19 drug so far.

Deyalsingh replied that the Government was in negotiations with Pfizer with whom they had signed a non-disclosure agreement. However, he said the drug called Paxlovid was now in short supply with in the US itself and to the tune of hundreds of millions of doses. Deyalsingh said the WHO had recently approved two other drugs to treat the virus but added that they were "not for the garden variety covid." He also said the drugs were no substitute for getting vaccinated.

Naparima MP Rodney Charles asked about TT's alleged high mortality figures and the urgent steps to address them, based on TT's place on the Worldometer’s global covid19 database.

Deyalsingh said that TT is in position 30 out of 190, meaning in 30th worst place. He said TT's case fatality ratio (CFR) is three, compared to a global average of two to three.

The CFR is a measure of the proportion of infected individuals who ultimately die of the virus. Deyalsingh lamented that people are coming in for treatment too late and were using the drug Ivermectin, even as he hoped to combat misinformation.

Seecheran said, "Between December 15-28, 2021, Johns Hopkins University had shown that this country has consistently been in the top spot globally in daily confirmed deaths per million."

Deyalsingh replied, "We have addressed that often. There are different measures that different bodies use. What we use is the case fatality ratio and we have been consistent.

"Our case fatality ratio was at a low of one, a high of 6.2 and it is currently around three. The global average for case fatality ratio is between two and three and we have consistently used the same metric all through the pandemic."


"Deyalsingh: Ministry looking into vaccine side-effects complaints"

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