Until feat of herd immunity, COVID-19 protocols are mandatory: UNC

Until herd immunity is achieved in the nation, we must continue adhering to social distancing guidelines, wear masks, and receive the vaccine

Until feat of herd immunity, COVID-19 protocols are mandatory: UNC
Until feat of herd immunity, COVID-19 protocols are mandatory: UNC

Trinidad and Tobago: UNC issue a statement regarding lockdown in the nation.

UNC stated, “With significant concern, the Opposition has noted that the 33,600 Covid-19 vaccines Trinidad and Tobago received from the COVAX facility will expire on May 31, 2021.

This is before the second doses are to be administered. What is noteworthy is that the Minister of Health appeared to be completely blindsided by this revelation.

Dr Parasram said the manufacturer had said the second dose should be administered within 21 to 28 days. Still, the new recommendation of the World Health Organization was for between eight to 12 weeks.

Pan American Health Organization/WHO Country Representative Dr Erica Wheeler announced by the end of May, 100,800 doses from COVAX should be delivered to T&T.

More than 30 million individuals in the UK have gained a first jab of the coronavirus vaccine.

The UK health services injected a total of 30,151,287 people between December 2020 and March 2021 with first doses – around 57% of all UK adults.

Besides, in the UK, 3,527,481 people have had their second doses, totalling 33,678,768 jabs administered overall.

Around 6% of the UK adult population have had their second jabs so far, and there will be a strong push over in the coming weeks to give residents their double jabs in line with the 12-week dose interval.

To balance the objective of preventing deaths and preserving societal functioning, it is recommended that aged 60 years and older and essential frontline workers, such as grocery store, public transit, and postal service workers, be vaccinated as soon as possible.

But the path to herd-immunity through widespread vaccination (estimated to be around 70 % of the population) will be a long and arduous process.

Until herd immunity is achieved in the nation, we must continue adhering to social distancing guidelines, wear masks, and receive the vaccine for ourselves, our families, and our communities when the time comes. This Government has avoided strict timelines, knowing that the vaccine procurement has been mishandled.

The Government should now consider delaying the second dose to those who have received the first dose to give the first dose to the maximum number of citizens.

This should have been done since the initial gift of 2,000 vaccines from Barbados. We had outbreaks in the Customs Division and the Police Service since first dispensing half of this initial supply, with the next half locked in refrigerated storage.

All of this batch should now be used to vaccinate our most vulnerable, as we currently have 33,600 doses of the same Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in the country.

The United Kingdom initially planned to give people their second dose within three weeks of their first dose, following the trials’ evidence.

In early January 2021, following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization and the four nations’ chief medical officers, it decided to delay the second dose to three months to give more people the first dose more quickly.

The JCVI cited studies of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which suggested the first jab alone offers good protection in the short-term, while the second jab provides more extended durability.

A decision must be made of the potential benefit of the “first dose first” strategy and a risk worth taking.

This would enable 35,000 of our most vulnerable to immediately get their first dose and achieve 76 % immunity against Covid-19. This would allow second doses to be administered at the end of May 2020, with the remaining 100,800 amounts from COVAX.

The US is considering a “first dose first” strategies like the UK’s, Germany and Ireland. In Trinidad and Tobago, we should seriously consider giving most of our citizens some form of immunity as soon as possible, as no concrete agreement has been forthcoming in attaining 1 million doses in 2021.

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