COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective for children − Health Minister assures

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony, on Friday, addressed a social media video from an unidentified source using the Pan American Health Organisation’s (PAHO) logo to peddle misinformation that the COVID-19 vaccine is harmful to children.

The video is circulating in English-speaking Caribbean countries as a ‘Public Warning Alert.’

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony

“It’s misinformation and the misuse of a reputable agency’s logo is even more despicable because they are trying to use that to create confusion and more misinformation,” Dr Anthony said during his COVID-19 update.

He reiterated that the vaccines for children are safe relating that studies have shown they are effective in boosting the immunity of the young population.

“Millions of children have already received these vaccines and it is helping them to prevent severe COVID disease… so, whoever started this anti-vaccine campaign, they should desist because they’ll be doing more harm to people and causing more confusion which is something we have seen throughout this pandemic,” Dr Anthony said.

He has cautioned persons against using social media to peddle misinformation about the vaccines and appealed to the public to get information about COVID-19 from reputable sources including the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PAHO, WHO, and other stringent bodies.

“So, I really urge people to check the scientific information if they have any doubts. And locally, if you have any doubts, consult with one of your doctors. They will be able to give you reputable information,” the health minister said.

Due to misinformation, Dr Anthony said vaccination rates have been low in regions across the country.  

He said wearing a mask as a preventative measure for the disease is a choice that people and institutions must make, pointing out that it is safer to wear masks, especially the N-95 masks.

“Different institutions would require, dependent on the safety levels that they are practicing, would require masking or no masking. So, people would have to abide by those rules. We have made it optional and, therefore, people would have to exercise their judgment,” he added.

Minister Anthony highlighted that 200 vaccines are administered daily which covers all age categories.

There has been one new infection of COVID-19 within the last 24 hours,and that’s from 328 tests that were done. We currently are monitoring 25 people who are infected with Covid with one of those persons at the Ocean View Hospital.”