A total of 100,000 flu vaccines are expected to arrive in this country today and will be distributed at health centres in the coming days, says Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.
The minister told the Express that Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar had said an H1N1 outbreak was being hidden in Trinidad and Tobago, but this was not true.
“For this flu season we have ordered over 100,000 doses of vaccines. It is to be noted that this Government stepped up its vaccine capability from 12,000 in 2010 and 2015 to consistently over the past four years to over 100,000 doses,” he said.
“I must remind the public that the vaccines for any particular flu season are different from the preceding season, so we have wait on PAHO and WHO’s formulation for the flu vaccine for any particular season. We have already alerted the population that vaccines will be received today and will then be available at all health centres within two to three days,” he said,
Deyalsingh said the flu season in Trinidad and Tobago starts in October of any particular year and runs until May of the following year.
He noted that H1N1 has been endemic in Trinidad and Tobago since 2009 “so this is not new”.
The Health Ministry, said Deyalsingh, started its media campaign since October 2019 to alert the public of the precautions to be taken.
Additionally, he said the ministry issued a press release last Friday alerting the population once again on the precautions to be taken, especially among the vulnerable groups.
The minister added that the population needs to take its own precautions such as washing hands, covering the mouth and nostrils while sneezing and don’t be in contact with anyone who you may suspect have the H1N1.
On social media there are allegations that there is an H1N1 outbreak in the country.
“Deadly outbreak! Once again this Government is covering up the deadly outbreak of H1N1 that is currently sweeping across Trinidad with 30 deaths so far and 1,000 reported cases in hospitals across the country! Doctors are begging for Tamiflu medication and the Minister of Health continues to ignore the pleading of Doctors! People are dying and there is a deadly outbreak of this virus in our Country please be aware!” was posted on the “Kick out the PNM” Facebook page.
Deyalsingh rubbished this yesterday and urged the population to ignore the “rumour-mongering from unreliable, politically motivated sources of information and that this Government has always been transparent when it comes to H1N1”.