J&J and Moderna vaccines to be reviewed by local drug advisory committee

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J&J and Moderna vaccines to be reviewed by local drug advisory committee

This country’s drug advisory committee will soon begin reviewing the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines to approve them for use in TT.

The revelation was made during the Health Ministry’s media conference on Wednesday, by Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram, who said the committee is trying to keep abreast of WHO standards.

He said: “We are considering the vaccines even before they are scheduled to come into the country, so what we’re doing is pre-emptively approving all the WHO vaccines. We’re looking at the dossier and making sure everything is OK with it in case the negotiations go forward quickly, we have already crossed that hurdle in terms of approval.

“So with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm, we have already gone ahead and approved, and we’re moving towards Moderna and Johnson & Johnson in the near future.”

He said based on a review of data, consideration will be given as to whether the vaccines can be used for pregnant and lactating mothers.

In the meantime, the CMO said that “A shift in the comorbidities has been noted.”

He said “If you look at comorbidities a couple months ago, diabetes and hypertension were the greater proportion of cases. We now see a dip in the number of people with diabetes becoming positive, and we have to look toward the immunisation strategy in TT, where a lot of patients with diabetes have been getting their vaccines, and we have to keep a close eye on those statistics to see if it continues to drop. It’s a good sign, because once you have diabetes along with covid19, you tend to have complications.

“The number of asthmatic patients seems to be going up and we will have to keep an eye on that and get those people to have their vaccines as we go forward.”

Parasram said while the daily reported numbers are getting smaller, people still need to be cautious.

“We have a broken week in terms of holidays, and some of the labs would be closed. For example, CARPHA would be down on holidays and Sundays, so some figures would be askew this week.

“I think we wait until next week, don’t let the figures be a real guide. What we’re using is the epidemiological curve, which looks at swab dates, which gives a better indication, and we have begun to see a slowing and hopefully the first large grouping of measures.

“And we’re two weeks into the SoE, so we’re expecting to see the effect of those events happening, in terms of numbers coming down, and we hope the lower numbers of the last few days is an indication we’re beginning to see a slowing.

“But we have to be cautious because an outbreak could happen quickly.”