FILE PHOTO: A vial of the Sinopharm covid19 vaccine.
HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said there are ample supplies of covid19 vaccines as cases increase in TT. He said this during the virtual covid19 news conference on Wednesday.
Responding to a question from the media about covid19 vaccine stocks, Deyalsingh said there are 247,583 Sinopharm vaccines which will expire next June.
There are no more Pfizer vaccines for adults.
He said any of these vaccines which were not used were destroyed in keeping with World Health Organization (WHO) protocols.
There are 186,285 Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccines still in stock.
“Some are expiring May 2023. Some are expiring in July 2023
Deyalsingh said, “AstraZeneca (vaccines) have been out of the system for a very long time. Those expired sometime last year.”
On Pfizer vaccines for children five-11 years old, Deyalsingh reiterated those were donated by Spain.
Of those 43,2000 doses, 37,778 remain. Those doses expire in October.
Deyalsingh said, “We are appealing to parents to take advantage of the Pfizer paediatric vaccine, especially in light of school reopening. Do it sooner rather than later.”
This will allow children to get their two doses of Pfizer before it expires in October.
He supported statements made by Principal Medical Officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards about recent increases in covid19 cases and the need for the public to remain vigilant against the virus.
“We cannot become complacent. Too many people are becoming complacent in exposing themselves in a lot of social settings.”
His advice was not restricted to elderly people.
“Even if you are young and you are unvaccinated, or vaccinated and unmasked, but then you go home and expose your covid status to your elderly parents, grandparents, that is the kind of transmission that we would advise people to be aware of.”
Deyalsingh said people should not be lulled into the belief that the pandemic seems to be winding down because “we don’t know what is around the corner.”
He reiterated that masking and vaccination remain the two most important forms of protection people have against covid19.
Earlier in the briefing, Richards said there are 237 people hospitalised with covid19.
In the intensive care units (ICUs) in the parallel health care system (established in 2020 to deal with covid19), Richards said, “There are nine critically ill patients.”
She said the ongoing statistics from the ministry are a reminder to the population that covid19 is still very much present.
“The Ministry of Health continues to closely monitor, on a daily basis, the clinical nature of the patients who are present (in hospital) and accessing accident and emergency departments (at hospitals).”
Abdool-Richards reiterated that a significant number of covid19 patients are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.
“Between July 22, 2021 and August 17, 2022, approximately 80 per cent of all patients who have been admitted to hospital, are fairly critically ill are not fully vaccinated.”
She said this underscores the need for people to become fully vaccinated and receive their booster shots to protect themselves and others.