Dr Roshan Parasram

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram says two Covid-positive patients within the same family did not die of Covid-19 nor have there been any deaths related to the vaccine in the country.

Speaking at the Ministry of Health’s virtual news conference yesterday, Parasram said one of the persons was reported to have died from a heart attack.

He said, “Everyone that dies and being Covid-positive at the time of death doesn’t necessarily die of Covid. They are considered having Covid. And that has been our national policy for stating in terms of deaths that come to us. Once you are positive at the time of death, we count you as a Covid death, whether it is with Covid or of Covid.

“A lot of times there are underlying pathologies that we find. In the 28 deaths that occurred so far in people who are fully vaccinated, the majority of them have occurred with them in people who have had significant comorbidities. For example, end stage renal disease. For example, cancer, significantly older individuals, for example who have immunocompromised states for other reasons. So those persons we have seen the deaths in the fully vaccinated individuals to the most part so far.”

Parasram said 98 per cent of persons who have died of Covid-19 have not been fully vaccinated.

Parasram is also calling on persons with comorbidities to get vaccinated now given the majority of Covid-19 related deaths occur in persons with comorbid conditions. “We’re really asking persons with these conditions, hypertension, diabetes and asthma along with other conditions, obesity and other chronic immunologic states that lead to some sort of compromise of the immune system to come out and don’t delay, get vaccinated today,” he said.

Parasram explained that in a country with a significant load of comorbidities such as T&T, persons who suffer with asthma, diabetes and hypertension have been noted to have had predilections toward Covid-related complications and even death.

He said one-third of T&T’s population is thought to have hypertension, some known and some unknown.

As such, the ministry is urging this target group of vulnerable people to take any one of the available vaccines as soon as possible, as it is safe to do so.

“We’re really asking these people, starting with asthma who have not been vaccinated to date, to please come out and don’t delay and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Because of the underlying condition you are prone to complications of Covid-19 and of course other respiratory diseases and we’re asking you to get vaccinated as soon as you can,” he said.


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