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Dr Gopeesingh: Take Sinopharm or whatever vaccine is available; benefits outweigh risks

“[…] It is a fact that the efficacy among the various Covid-19 vaccines may differ—two jabs of some at least two months apart, will provide safety of about 90-92 per cent of persons, while others will provide up to 75 per cent. 

“Nevertheless, this strongly outweighs the risks of severe disease or morbidity, whether short term or long term, from Covid-19 infections…”

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Dr Tim Gopeesingh, senior oncologist/gynaecologist and former cabinet minister and MP:

Photo: Sinopharm is the China-made vaccine for Covid-19.
(Copyright Gettyimages)

With Trinidad and Tobago recording its highest ever Coronavirus death rate yesterday, I urge ALL citizens to accept whatever Covid-19 vaccine is available and being offered at this time. 

Whether it is AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson or Sinopharm, the vaccines will be of tremendous benefit and reduce the chances of severe disease, hospitalisation or death among Covid positive patients.

It is a fact that the efficacy among the various Covid-19 vaccines may differ—two jabs of some at least two months apart, will provide safety of about 90-92 per cent of persons, while others will provide up to 75 per cent. Nevertheless, this strongly outweighs the risks of severe disease or morbidity, whether short term or long term, from Covid-19 infections.

I also urge the minister of finance to ensure that he gives the ministry of health priority funding during this crucial stage of the Covid-19 health crisis.

This is of paramount importance, in order to ensure that the hospitals and RHAs can afford to hire/pay salaries of the extra medical, nursing and paramedical staff, as well as fund the purchases all the necessary PPE, technical equipment, pharmaceuticals and other health supplies needed to ensure proper care of all current Covid-19 patients.

Photo: A nurse administers the Covid-19 vaccine in Trinidad.
(via MoH

There is also a crucial need for the health ministry/RHAs to increase the Covid-19 vaccination centres across the nation (from the existing 25 centres), as well as properly equip them with enough staff and necessary medical supplies. An improved communications system for citizens seeking vaccines must also be a priority.

Reports emanating from these centres point to the very high degree of professionalism, courtesy, efficiency from all medical and other personnel, and I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to all frontline medical workers who are continuously risking their lives and safety, and that of their families, to ensure that we win this Covid-19 war.

This war can, however, only be won with a national concerted effort, and I therefore endorse the renewed call by the Opposition Leader Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar to meet with the government for a bipartisan approach to help in fighting this deadly pandemic. 

Please, let us all remember that we also have individual power and responsibility to ensure our safety during this time, by adhering to all public health regulations and staying at home to protect lives.

 

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One comment

  1. Earl Best

    Tim, Check ‘çredibility’ in a good dictionary and then see if you really want to say this to serious thinking people: “I therefore endorse the renewed call by the Opposition Leader Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar to meet with the government for a bipartisan approach to help in fighting this deadly pandemic.”

    Serious people recognise political posturing from miles away and they know that lip service has never been and never will be real service.