Dr Roshan Parasram

 Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram says the new study by United Kingdom scientists which found that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine may offer protection for a lifetime is “very good news” for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

British newspaper The Sun reported that scientists from Oxford and Switzerland, writing in the journal Nature, noted that apart from generating virus-busting antibodies, the AstraZeneca vaccine also creates “training camps” in the body for search-and-destroy T-cells, which can kill even new variants.

“It means the body can continue making these vital cells long after the antibodies have waned- possibly for the rest of your life,” the newspaper report stated.

Responding to the news during yesterday’s Ministry of Health virtual media briefing on Covid-19, Parasram said although he would not want to cast the study in stone, “it is a very good study to take note of”.

“Initially when vaccines were being utilised and manufactured, people were saying that we will be at eight months to a year at best in terms of immunity,” he said. “The study seems to suggest that you will get lifelong immunity from AstraZeneca. Again it’s early days and things can change depending on what types of variants come along.”

Parasram said the study supports the use of AstraZeneca, one of the few viral vaccines that decrease the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Sinopharm protection

Parasram also pointed to a new study out of Sri Lanka on the Sinopharm vaccine, which suggests that the vaccine gives very good protection against the Delta variant.

“And it’s again very good news for the country because we have a large quantity of Sinopharm in Trinidad and Tobago for use. And we have used AstraZeneca, so very good news by way of research for both AstraZeneca and Sinopharm,” Parasram said.

“I would say that the second study is very new. It’s out of Sri Lanka. It has not been peer-reviewed. It is a good sign, but it needs to be peer reviewed before that data can be shared in its entirety,” he noted.

More than 176,000 people have been fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Pfizer vaccines in the country.


Taxpayers have forked out close to $4 million in legal fees in the matter of Vertical Aviation LLC and the lease of the Sikorsky S76D helicopter by the former government.

Vertical Aviation had claimed the Government failed to satisfy its obligations under the lease by not paying rent and interest due for late rent payments, failed to replenish the security deposit after the aviation company applied the deposit funds to late rent payments, failed to enrol the aircraft in a tip-to-tail maintenance programme and did not maintain insurance for the aircraft.

Professor of molecular genetics and virology at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Christine Carrington says while there are yet no confirmed cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago, it is only a matter of time before the highly transmissible variant is detected here.

Carrington was speaking during yesterday’s virtual news conference hosted by the Ministry of Health.

A 41-year-old woman remained in police custody yesterday, being questioned in connection with the murder of Maritime General and Fidelity Finance chairman and Piarco Airport corruption accused John Smith, 74, on Friday afternoon.

Around 4.30 p.m. on Friday, offi­cers of the Maraval Police Station responded to a call that there was a domestic dispute at a residence in Haleland Park, Saddle Road, Mara­val.

For decades, Trinidad and Tobago has battled a raging gang problem.

Successive governments and law enforcement have fought to reduce criminal organisations which have engaged in well-executed mafia-style illegal operations, including drug and gun running, money laundering, prostitution, extortion, and crimes like murders, robberies and even what are regarded as white-collar ventures.

THE manager at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) who cleared an employee of any wrongdoing following a complaint against him has signed an affidavit saying he was repeatedly called upon to change his findings in the matter.

He also said he was denied several requests to interview the Min­ister of Public Utilities for a “witness statement in the matter”.

What happened in the canefield was a planned and frenzied assault, Justice Lisa Ramsumair-­Hinds said, in deli­vering guilty verdicts yesterday on Sean Luke murderers Akeel Mitchell and Richard Chatoo.

Recommended for you