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Dr Rai Ragbir, Member of Parliament for Cumuto/Manzanilla.

The Opposition has urged the public to use the COVID 19 vaccine being obtained by the Government – and to continue using health protocols after getting vaccinated.

Medical doctor, UNC MP Rai Ragbir did so in a statement.

Even after one has been vaccinated, Ragbir urged the public to continue to observe all health protocols – mask wearing, staying six feet apart, avoiding crowds, frequent hand -washing – as, “It remains part of the overall system of preventing spread of the virus.”

Ragbir said the information he was giving was to guide people, allay concerns, and facilitate “the peace of mind needed in preparing for the impending arrival and acceptance of the vaccination.”

He added: “As a medical professional, I fully understand and appreciate that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated; however, I wish to assure you that tremendous work, studies and trials have gone into the development of the vaccine so that patient safety remains of paramount importance in the use of the vaccine.”

“T&T’s in a very fortunate position as the allocation and distribution is being carried out through the Covax System, which is being managed systematically and fairly by the World Health Organisation. Importantly as well, the ethics, scientific safeguards and the environmental compliance of the vaccine’s manufacturing and efficacy, are all being closely monitored by the WHO.”

He noted, “We are extremely fortunate now, that in such a short space of time, a vaccine/s have been developed that can complement all other health protocols so that, being vaccinated becomes the ultimate protection against contracting and spreading of the virus; and therefore, being vaccinated will not only protect you, but protect those with whom you are in contact with, especially those in the immediate household; you maybe an asymptomatic carrier and passing the virus to loved ones”.

Ragbir said the AstraZeneca vaccination utilizes an ADENOVirus – which causes the common cold. “As of now, millions worldwide have and continue to receive the vaccination safely with minimal adverse effects. “

“Globally, more than 138 million doses have been administered across 73 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg as of January 9th 2021. “

Ragbir said the vaccine has been scientifically tried and tested, and has proven to be highly effective in preventing the virus.

He said, “The value of the vaccine’s effectiveness is of tremendous worth in that even if you get the virus, it will prevent you from becoming severely ill, and prevent death.”

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are based on MRA’s – MRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19, rather it uses a spike protein, which teaches the immune system what that virus looks like and the immune system will vigorously attack the virus, if it ever enters the body.

Ragbir said those who should not get the vaccine which T&T will be using are people with a previous severe allergic reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Also, those experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, who are confined or in isolation or in quarantin.

But following isolation one can receive the vaccination, which will increase the body’s immune response, he said.