Dr Roodal Moonilal

Dr Roodal Moonilal

The Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine is safe and has undergone a rigorous assessment by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This was Health Minister Terrence Deyal­singh’s response to Oro­­pouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal yester­day after Moonilal warned people to be cautious about being used as “guinea pigs” for the vaccine, which only has emergency-use approval.

In a release yester­day, Deyalsingh slam­med Moonilal’s com­ments as baseless and not grounded in science or fact.

“The fact is the Covid-19 Sinopharm Beijing vaccine has undergone a rigorous World Health Organisation (WHO) vaccine assessment, which included on-site inspections of the production facility prior to the WHO official appro­val of the Sinopharm Beijing vaccine for the Emergency Use Listing Procedure (EUL) on May 7, 2021,” Deyalsingh said.

“The WHO assessment is the same review process used for Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines, which all currently have EUL approval.”

Deyalsingh noted Moonilal had received the AstraZeneca vaccine, which also has EUL approval.

“The Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is a risk-based procedure for assessing and listing vaccines, with the ultimate aim of expedi­ting the availability of these products to people affected by a public health emergency,” he explained.

The Sinopharm Beijing vaccine has been authorised for use in 45 countries/jurisdictions, and over 65 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine have been administered through various emergency use programmes, said Deyalsingh.

Trinidad and Tobago is set to receive 100,000 doses of this vaccine, donated by China.

Deyalsingh said the Sinopharm vaccine has a very good safety and efficacy profile, and is estimated to have up to 78.1 per cent efficacy for all age groups 18 years and over.

“The erroneous com­ments made by MP Moonilal that Trini­dad and Tobago will be used as guinea pigs only reinforces the MP’s deliberate attempts to derail the country’s vaccination drive and rein­forces the continuous adverse position by the Opposition, led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar, to anything positive for the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.

He accused the Opposition of trying to create confusion and thwart the Government’s attempts to protect and save lives.

Deyalsingh assured that all vaccines procured for this country are selected based on the robust standards of the WHO.

“Absolutely no Covid-19 vaccine will be ad­ministered without WHO approval. To date, all Covid-19 vaccines administered in Trinidad and Tobago have re­ceived Emergency Use License (EUL) under the WHO.”

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