Ministry of Health Media Conference on COVID-19 – Saturday September 18th, 2021

Key Points from the Ministry of Health Media Conference on COVID-19 – Saturday September 18th, 2021

Paediatric Emergency Specialist and Regional Emergency Coordinator for the North Central Regional Health Authority, Dr. Joanne Paul, confirmed that to date, there have been 55 confirmed cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome In Children (MIS-C) in T&T as a result of COVID-19. Dr. Paul noted that T&T has the most cases of MIS-C in the region, but no deaths have been recorded. She also stated that the majority of children with COVID-19 had mild cases, with most being asymptomatic. However, 2% of those infected with the virus had severe infections which led to hospitalisation.

Dr. Paul urged parents and guardians to consider COVID-19 vaccinations for their children. She said side effects of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children are mostly anxiety-related (stomach aches, feeling faint) and will go away quickly. She said serious side effects of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines (pericarditis and myocarditis) on children are rare. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roshan Parasram added that the immune response to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children has been very good (almost 100%) and urged parents to get their children vaccinated to protect them from the virus. The CMO noted that 11 children in Jamaica died from COVID-19 and said T&T should not have to reach that stage with vaccines available to prevent deaths and serious illness.

County Medical Officer Health – Caroni, Dr. Jeanine St Bernard, also endorsed COVID-19 vaccination in children, saying it’s a return to a balanced life. Dr. St. Bernard highlighted her experience in taking her children for the COVID-19 vaccine, noting they were comfortable with the first dose administered at COSTAATT – El Dorado, and then the second dose at the Wallerfield Drive Through. In terms of side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CMOH said her children only experienced pain at the injection site.

Some sites administering COVID-19 vaccines to children today:

Larry Gomes Stadium (until 3PM)

Wallerfield Drive Through (until 4PM)

SAPA (until 3PM)

South West Regional Indoor Facility (until 3PM)

Some sites administering the “one shot and done” Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines today:

C3 Centre

Gulf City Mall

Massy Stores-Marabella

PriceSmart-Chaguanas

PriceSmart-POS

Trincity Mall

The Ministry of Health has not yet received reports from women on adverse reactions related to their menstrual cycle after COVID-19 vaccination. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roshan Parasram said the Director of Women’s Health, Dr. Adesh Sirjusingh, will address this matter at next week’s Media Conference. Women who have experienced negative side effects after taking the COVID-19 vaccine are urged to visit their doctor for an assessment.

Dr. Paul reminded about four layers of protection from COVID-19:

1. Wash hands, wear masks, sanitise.

2. Vaccination.

3. Strengthen your immune system.

4. Protect your mental health.

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