Ijaz Haniff

Died Thursday night: Ijaz Haniff

The South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) is to hold a meeting with the family of Ijaz Haniff, the 60-year-old man who died after suffering a blood clot and paraly­sis days after he took the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said yesterday a report on Haniff has been independently reviewed by a consultant haematologist.

He did not share the findings of the review with reporters while speaking at yesterday’s virtual news conference.

Haniff died eight days after receiving his first shot of the vaccine.

He had developed a blood clot which blocked a main artery, and the lower part of his body was paralysed prior to his death.

Haniff’s relatives believe the clot was caused by the vaccine, which has been linked to a rare blood-clotting condition experienced by recipients of the vaccine in other countries.

The SWRHA said a preliminary investigation determined there was no evidence that Haniff’s condition was linked to the vaccine.

Parasram said yesterday the family would be directly informed of the findings of the ­independent review.

“With regards to that particular matter, the SWRHA has submitted to my office, a clinical report relating to that particular event.

“I’ve also sent it to a consultant haematologist, who works in the Ministry of Health, and independently had a look at it and gave me on Friday the findings as it related to that report.

“The matter is before SWRHA, who has contacted the relatives of that particular individual, and they would be having a full disclosure clinical meeting with all clinicians involved and with that family in the near future. Once that is complete, SWRHA may want to issue a statement thereafter.”

‘Rare complication of vaccine’

Parasram stressed that the blood clotting issue is extremely rare, and there are no precautions a person can take to lessen their chances of experiencing the condition.

“It is an extremely rare complication of the vaccine,” the CMO said.

“As we said before, there’s nothing that you can take before you actually have the vaccine to offset that sort of reaction that may happen in some instances. Nothing that is recommended by (World Health Organisation) at this point in time.”

Parasram said there had been no reports of any major side effects of the vaccine from those who have received the shot thus far.

“Most of the people would have had mild-type reactions, fever, pain at the injection site, lethargy to some extent, feeling a little tired for a long period of time, a couple of days maximum. All of them have been resolving. As the days and weeks progress, we will keep you abreast as to if we see any other side effects ­occurring.”

Parasram was asked if Energy Minister Franklin Khan, who died yesterday morning, had received the Covid-19 vaccine, and whether he was a contact of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who tested positive for Covid-19.

Parasram responded that any communication on the minister’s death would come from the Office of the Prime Minister or the Ministry of Energy.

He expressed condolences to Khan’s family.

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He predicts that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Trinidad and Tobago is now under a state of emergency.

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Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced the measures yesterday, one day after the business community called for an state of emergency and curfew to be implemented in an effort to bring the Covid-19 case count under control.

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Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, Principal Medical Officer, Institutions, noted that more people are being admitted to hospital daily than those being discharged.

Young people are most hesitant about taking the Covid-19 vaccine, while those aged 65 and older are more likely than any other age group to express interest in getting it.

This is according to data of a 2021 Consumer Economic Study (CES) conducted by Market Facts & Opinions (2000) Ltd (MFO) over the period April 14 to May 3, 2021.

Respondents were asked to indicate their perceptions of the Covid-19 vaccine, and whether they were prepared to be vaccinated.