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COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL FAQS

What is a Vaccine?

A vaccine is a safe, biological substance that is given to a person to help their body create antibodies to reduce the chance of them getting the disease and the chance of severe infection.

Are there vaccines for COVID-19?

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines have been developed.

The Ministry of Health uses COVID-19 vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Click HERE for the list of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccine helps your body make antibodies to a protein on the virus surface. This allows your immune system to attack the virus and fight off infection if you are exposed.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

The Ministry of Health uses COVID-19 vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO is committed to the critical evaluation of all new vaccines for their safety and effectiveness before their authorization for use.

No vaccine will be used until it has undergone rigorous scientific and clinical testing in keeping with the highest vaccine testing standards, as do all other vaccines used in Trinidad and Tobago.

How can a safe vaccine be made so quickly?

For one of the few times in history, the entire world is focused on one global challenge – the COVID-19 pandemic. While vaccine development usually takes a long time, the global community worked together to ensure that safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines were made available in a shorter time frame.

The shortened COVID-19 vaccine development time frame was due to:

  • Worldwide co-operation and sharing of scientific knowledge
  • Increased funding for vaccine development
  • International prioritization of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Application of learnings from previous research on vaccines for coronaviruses
  • Implementation of vaccine development steps in a parallel manner, where possible.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Safety is the top priority of any vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are not approved until clinical trials have taken place that show they are both safe and effective.

Any vaccine or medication can cause side effects.

Individuals receiving the vaccine will be monitored at the health facility after injection.

The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are typically minor and go away within 2 days. These side effects mean that your body is building its immune response or developing your internal protection against the disease.  

The general side effects of the vaccines are:

  • pain, soreness and swelling at the injection site
  • feeling fatigued or tired
  • fever or a high temperature

Rare side effects may occur in vaccine recipients and are specific to the type of vaccine given. Please ensure that you let your health provider counsel you on the side effects prior to taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Persons with a history of severe allergic reactions in general should also talk to their healthcare provider before taking the COVID-19 Vaccine.

People with a history of severe reactions to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine should not take it.

Persons with comorbidities ( e.g. Heart Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancer) should consult their physician before taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Note:  It is important to answer all of the health screening questions posed by the healthcare professional fully and accurately before taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Will the vaccine change my DNA?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine does not make changes to the DNA of the recipient.

Will I have to register to get on the list to receive the vaccine?

The COVID-19 Vaccine will be provided to the population in Phases based on level of risk and level of exposure to the disease.

In the initial stage of the COVID-19 vaccination programme (Phase 1), persons in certain categories will not be required to pre-register or make an appointment for vaccination. Other persons will be required to make an appointment. Further information is included below.

All the relevant information will be placed in the public domain.

It should be noted that persons should have valid identification in their possession and are also encouraged to bring their Immunization card and Clinic card, as applicable, when they go to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Phase 1

In Phase 1 the following groups of people will be eligible receive the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • healthcare workers
  • the elderly (60 years and over)
  • persons with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes (high blood sugar).

NB- The Phase 1 rollout of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme begins with those at the highest risk and highest exposure to the disease, i.e healthcare workers and persons aged 60 years and older with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Other persons in the Phase 1 category will be advised when COVID-19 vaccination will begin for them.

Vaccination of Persons 60 and over with NCDs

Persons who are a part of NCD clinics in the 21 Designated COVID-19 Vaccine facilities will not have to pre-register or make an appointment to get the vaccine. Those aged 60 and over will be offered the vaccine when they come for their NCD clinic appointment. Persons in the public sector NCD clinics who are below this age may also be offered the vaccine on the advice of the clinical team.

Other members of the public who are aged 60 and over with NCDs can call one of the 21 Designated COVID-19 Vaccine facilities to make an appointment on non-NCD clinic days.

NCDs include:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular disease,
  • Respiratory disease (e.g. asthma, COPD)

This is not an exhaustive list.

Phase 2

  • frontline essential workers ( e.g. teachers, national security personnel, sanitation workers)

Phase 3

Thereafter the vaccine will be administered to all other persons in who it is not contraindicated (i.e. persons over 18 years of age within the recommended categories).

Members of the public will know when the vaccine is available to the various groups of persons through several means, including public information campaigns, the media, and via healthcare providers.

Please be wary of scams that ask for payment to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago will cover the cost of the vaccine.

Visit the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine page (www.health.gov.tt/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine) for additional information.

How much will it cost to get vaccinated?

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago will cover the cost of the vaccine. You will not have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine administered at designated vaccination facilities.

Will more than one dose of COVID-19 vaccine be required?

Some COVID-19 vaccines need to be given in 2 doses and some require only 1 dose.

How will I know when to get my second dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine?

After receiving your first COVID-19 vaccine shot, the relevant information will be recorded on your Immunization Card. The type of COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date received and your next appointment date will be recorded. If you do not have an Immunization card one will be given to you.

Please take note of the next appointment date and return to the relevant COVID-19 Vaccination Facility for the second dose. Additionally, persons will be contacted to be reminded of their next appointment date.

Where will the COVID-19 vaccine be administered?

Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment page for this information - CLICK HERE

Do I need to wear a mask and physically distance from others after receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Yes. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

While the vaccines provide protection against the COVID-19 disease, they have not been shown to prevent the infection of others, so people who are immunized may still be able to spread the virus.

Additionally, it will take approximately 2 weeks after you receive the final dose of the vaccine before the desired immune response occurs.

Following the NEW NORMAL guidelines will help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others.

Members of the public should continue to:

  • Wear a mask over the nose and mouth when out in public
  • Keep their distance from others (6 feet)
  • Stay home if ill
  • Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cough into a tissue or into the crook of the elbow
  • Avoid touching their face
  • Clean then sanitize surfaces (e.g. table tops, door knobs and cell phones)

What is Emergency Use License (EUL)?

WHO’s Emergency Use License (EUL) process assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. It is a process applied to authorize the use of a medication or vaccine with less data, if the benefit of the vaccine has been shown to outweigh the risk. EULs can be issued only during a declared emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines that are issued an EUL will continue to be studied and have additional safety monitoring and informed consent and education associated with them.

When will a vaccine be available?

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is expected to begin vaccinating members of the public in the first quarter of 2021.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be given in phases beginning with those at the highest risk of contracting the disease , i.e. healthcare workers and persons 60 years and over with Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Members of the public will know when the vaccine is available to the various groups of persons through several means, including public information campaigns, the media and via healthcare providers.

Who will receive the vaccine first?

Phase 1

In Phase 1 the following groups of people will be eligible receive the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • healthcare workers
  • the elderly (60 years and over)
  • persons with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes (high blood sugar).

NB- The Phase 1 rollout of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme begins with those at the highest risk and highest exposure to the disease, i.e healthcare workers and persons aged 60 years and older with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Other persons in the Phase 1 category will be advised when COVID-19 vaccination will begin for them.

Phase 2

In Phase 2 the following groups of people will be added to the list of those who are eligible receive the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • frontline essential workers ( e.g. teachers, national security personnel, sanitation workers)

Phase 3

Thereafter the vaccine will be administered to all other persons in who it is not contraindicated (i.e. persons over 18 years of age within the recommended categories).

Why should I take the COVID-19 vaccine?

  1. To protect yourself and your loved ones - By getting vaccinated, you are reducing your risk of disease, hospitalization, severe complications, and even death, for both you and your loved ones.
  2. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe - Only the COVID-19 vaccines that have undergone rigorous scientific and clinical testing in keeping with the highest vaccine testing standards will be given.
  3. The COVID-19 vaccine works - The trial results for the approved vaccines showed that they were very effective at preventing moderate and severe disease, and in most cases, preventing symptoms all together.

Getting vaccinated and reducing the risk of disease also helps prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. It is the responsible thing to do.

How long does immunity last?

COVID-19 is a relatively new virus and thus scientists continue to gather new information about the vaccine continuously. Information about how long immunity from the vaccine lasts is not yet known. Information is limited but the research is ongoing.

COVID-19 vaccines have only been around for less than a year and thus current data seems to indicate that immunity lasts about 8 to 9 months. As time passes and more data becomes available from those who first received the vaccine then this information will be updated.

Can I get other vaccines, like the flu shot, at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?

Persons who have not yet taken the COVID-19 vaccine may take the Influenza (Flu) vaccine as soon as possible. They should wait at least 2 weeks after taking the Influenza (Flu) vaccine before they take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Persons who have taken their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should wait at least 2 weeks before taking the Influenza (Flu) vaccine.

The final dose of a vaccine refers to the second dose of a two-dose regimen vaccine or 1 dose of a single-dose regimen vaccine.

This guidance also applies to the pregnant population. Pregnant women are reminded that they should abide by the COVID-19 vaccination recommendations for pregnant women.

Who should NOT get the vaccine?

Women in their 1st Trimester of Pregnancy

Pregnant women who are in their 1st trimester are not advised to get the COVID-19 vaccine at this time.

Pregnant women in their 2nd and 3rd trimester should only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

NB- Approval has been granted for the administration of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to breastfeeding mothers in Trinidad and Tobago. Thus breastfeeding mothers should ONLY take the Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine at this time. This directive follows the National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group’s recent approval of the Sinopharm vaccine for use by breastfeeding women in this country. This vaccine is also approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for use by breastfeeding mothers.

Children and Persons younger than 12 years of age

NB- Currently the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna-NIAID COVID-19 vaccines are approved for administration to people 12 to 18 years of age . No other vaccine is currently recommended for persons below 18 years old. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is currently available in Trinidad and Tobago. CLICK HERE for more information.

People with a history of severe reactions to a component in the vaccine

In general, people with a history of severe reactions to any component of any vaccine or medication should not take the particular medication or vaccine.

Additional information on COVID-19 vaccine is available by clicking HERE (https://health.gov.tt/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/learn-more).

Note:  It is important to answer all of the health screening questions posed by the healthcare professional fully and accurately before taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Persons with a history of severe allergic reactions in general should talk to their healthcare provider before taking the COVID-19 Vaccine.

If I have mild allergies, can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes! Seasonal allergies do not exclude you from getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals who have had severe reactions, like anaphylaxis, to injectable medication or vaccines in the past should talk to their healthcare provider before taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

It is important to answer all of the health screening questions posed by the healthcare professional fully and accurately before taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Can I get the vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?

Yes. Although there is currently limited data on how prior infection with COVID-19 affects the efficacy of the vaccine, it is known that natural immunity to the virus reduces over time. So currently, under the WHO Emergency Use License (EUL), individuals who have previously been infected with COVID-19 are eligible to receive the vaccine, however, vaccination should be given 3 months after the COVID-19 infection.

How do I report symptoms after I take the COVID-19 vaccine?

Members of the public can get general information on COVID-19, the COVID-19 vaccine, report side effects and adverse events by calling the Ministry’s COVID hotlines - 800-WELL (9355) or 877-WELL (9355).

Members of the public can source general information by visiting the COVID-19 page of the Ministry of Health’s website (www.health.gov.tt/covid19).

Vaccine recipients may also report side effects to the nearest health centre or hospital. Questions on what might be considered a side effect related to the vaccine, may also be answered a healthcare professional.

The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are typically minor and go away within 2 days. These side effects mean that your body is building its immune response or developing your internal protection against the disease.

The general side effects of the vaccines are:

  • pain, soreness and swelling at the injection site
  • feeling fatigued or tired
  • fever or a high temperature

What should I bring / do when I come to receive the vaccine?

On Vaccination day

On the day of vaccination persons should:

  • Have a good meal or non-alcoholic beverage
  • Wear clothing that will provide easy access to the upper arm for vaccination
  • Bring to the facility:
    • Valid form of identification (e.g. Driver’s Permit, National Identification, Passport)
    • Immunization Card
    • Clinic Card (where applicable)
    • Pregnant women must have written confirmation from their primary health care professional (e.g. Midwife, District Health Visitor and or Doctor) that they are in their 2nd or 3rd trimester

After receipt of the 1st dose of the vaccine:

  • Your Immunization Card will be updated with relevant information including the type of COVID-19 vaccine administered, the date received and the next appointment date.
    An Immunization card will be provided for those who do not have a card.
  • Persons will remain in observation before leaving the facility.
  • Members of the public will be contacted to be reminded of their next appointment date. Persons should return to the relevant facility for their second dose of the vaccine.

In Trinidad and Tobago, vaccination is voluntary.

Only vaccines that have attained WHO approval and have undergone rigorous scientific and clinical analysis, in keeping with the highest vaccine testing standards, are used in Trinidad and Tobago.

Will I be given the option to decide which COVID-19 I receive?

Eligible persons should take the first COVID-19 vaccine that becomes available to them, once there is no medical reason which prevents them from taking that particular vaccine (not clinically contraindicated).

Breastfeeding mothers should only take the Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine at this time.

Pregnant women in their 2nd and 3rd trimester should only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Pregnant women in their 1st trimester should not take the COVID-19 vaccine at this time.

NB- Currently the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna-NIAID COVID-19 vaccines are approved for administration to people 12 to 18 years of age . No other vaccine is currently recommended for persons below 18 years old. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is currently available in Trinidad and Tobago. CLICK HERE for more information.

In Trinidad and Tobago, vaccination is voluntary.

Only vaccines that have attained WHO approval and have undergone rigorous scientific and clinical analysis, in keeping with the highest vaccine testing standards, are used in Trinidad and Tobago.

While it is intended that all persons who fall within the recommended categories should get the COVID-19 vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered in phases based on level of risk and exposure to the disease.

COVID-19 VACCINE AND CHILDREN

Can children under the age of 18 take the COVID-19 vaccine?

The World Health Organization has recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna-NIAID COVID-19 vaccines for administration to people 12 to 18 years of age . No other vaccine is currently recommended for persons below 18 years old. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is currently available in Trinidad and Tobago. CLICK HERE for more information.

Is the safe is the Pfizer vaccine for children?

Yes! A successful trial has shown that the vaccine is highly effective and safe for children aged 12 and over. This has led to the recommendation to be extended from aged 16 years and above to 12 years and above. 

If children don't frequently experience severe illness with COVID-19, why do they need a COVID-19 vaccine?

A COVID-19 vaccine can prevent children from getting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. Even if a child gets COVID-19, a COVID-19 vaccine could prevent him or her from becoming severely ill.

Although COVID-19 in children is usually milder than in adults, some children can get very sick and have complications or long-lasting symptoms that affect their health and well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that children 12 years of age and older, with comorbidities, may be at a higher risk for developing serious complications/hospitalizations from the COVID-19 virus. Thus, like other at-risk groups, it is recommended that children aged 12-15 with comorbidities receive the vaccine. 

Additionally, recent studies have shown that children can transmit the COVID-19 virus to adults and this puts persons with comorbidities at risk for developing serious complications from the virus.

Another reason to consider a COVID-19 vaccine for your child is to protect the health of the broader community. Fewer overall infections among the population means less chance of dangerous coronavirus variants.

How effective is the Pfizer vaccine?

The Pfizervaccine has been shown to be 95% effective against symptomatic, COVID-19 infections.

What are the side effects of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine?

Any vaccine or medication can cause side effects. As with other COVID-19 vaccines, some persons may experience mild symptoms.

The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are typically minor and go away within 2 days. These side effects mean that your body is building its immune response or developing your internal protection against the disease.  

The general side effects of the vaccines are:

  • pain, soreness and swelling at the injection site
  • feeling fatigued or tired
  • fever or a high temperature

Rare side effects may occur in vaccine recipients and are specific to the type of vaccine given.

Persons with a history of severe allergic reactions in general should also talk to their healthcare provider before taking the COVID-19 Vaccine.

People with a history of severe reactions to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine should not take it.

Persons with comorbidities ( e.g. Heart Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancer) should consult their physician before taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Parents should note that it is important to answer all of the health screening questions posed by the healthcare professional fully and accurately before taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Are there any children who shouldn't get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine?

There is as yet no COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than age 12.

Additionally the COVID-19 vaccine should not be given to a child with a known history of a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the particular vaccine.

COVID-19 VACCINE AND PREGNANT WOMEN

Can pregnant women take the COVID-19 vaccine?

You can get vaccinated against COVID-19 if :

  • you are pregnant and in your 2nd or 3rd trimester, under the direction of a healthcare provider
  • you have a valid document ( e.g. health records, medical letter)  from a healthcare provider (e.g. Midwife, District Health Visitor and or Doctor)   confirming that you are in your 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy

You also qualify if you are breastfeeding and due for your second dose three to four weeks after your first dose (for those who had their first dose started in pregnancy)

The vaccine cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.

What is the BNT162b2 Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and what it is used for?

This is a vaccine used for active immunisation to prevent COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus.

This vaccine is approved by the World Health Organization for adults and adolescents from 12 years of age, including those who are pregnant and women who are breastfeeding.

The vaccine triggers the body’s natural production of antibodies and stimulates immune cells to protect against COVID-19 disease.

No vaccines are 100% effective, so it is important to continue to follow current national guidance.

To protect yourself and your family, friends, and colleagues, you MUST still:

  • practise social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands
  • and follow all other public health measures

Is it mandatory for pregnant women to take the vaccine?

The WHO-approved vaccines in Trinidad and Tobago are currently not mandatory for any person. The Ministry of Health strongly recommends all eligible citizens to be vaccinated to reduce the risk of severe effects of the COVID-19 virus if one becomes infected, including death.

Why are pregnant women a priority for vaccination?

All pregnant women are at a higher risk of being hospitalized, of severe illness and of death if they contract this virus.

Women who are over 35 years of age, overweight, have comorbidities (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, immune conditions, asthma), and in the second half of pregnancy are at an additional higher risk of getting severe disease.

Women who were affected by COVID-19 in pregnancy have a higher risk of delivering the baby prematurely and having a stillborn baby.

How is the Vaccine Given?

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 is given after dilution as an injection of 0.3 ml into your upper arm.

You will receive 2 injections, given at least 21 days apart.

If you receive one dose of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2, you should receive a second dose of the same vaccine at least 21 days later to complete the vaccination series. Protection against COVID-19 disease may not be maximally effective until at least 14 days after the second dose.

I had the first dose just before I delivered and now I am breastfeeding. Is it safe to receive the second dose?

If eligible for the second dose after you delivered, you can safely receive the second dose when it was due, and it is safe to continue breastfeeding. Neither the vaccine nor the virus can be transmitted to the nursing baby. However, antibodies have been detected in breastmilk and this can help protect the nursing baby from contracting COVID-19.

So, it is safe to use this vaccine and breastfeed but why aren't all breastfeeding mothers eligible to commence vaccination with this brand of vaccine?

At this time, these vaccines are in limited quantities and reserved for high-risk groups such as pregnant women and children, in whom alternative vaccines have not yet been approved. In Trinidad and Tobago, currently the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine is approved in breastfeeding women over the age of 18 years and is widely available.

However, if you are currently 12 to 17 years of age and breastfeeding, you will be eligible to get both doses of this vaccine, but you will require consent from a guardian.

Why do I have to be in my 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy to have the first dose?

This is in line with the international recommendations and the advice of the World Health Organization, to prioritize persons in their 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

To reduce your risks whilst awaiting your first dose, all persons must adhere to the public health measures at all times including washing of hands, wearing of masks and watching your distance from others. Even after receiving your second dose, these guidelines must be followed.

I received my first dose before my 2nd trimester of pregnancy. Should I be concerned?

Studies on the use of this vaccine at all stages of pregnancy are currently underway and, so far, the data is reassuring. However, at this time the Ministry of Health recommends that we commence vaccination from the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, in line with the advice of the World Health Organization.

I am planning to get pregnant. Why am I not eligible for this vaccine?

This vaccine is only approved for use in pregnancy at this time and persons who are planning to become pregnant will not be eligible. There are other WHO-approved vaccines which are widely available that can be used safely just before you plan to become pregnant. This is strongly recommended instead of trying to become vaccinated after you have become pregnant.

I received the vaccine and I have a few of the common side effects such as fever, headache and pain at the injection site. What medication can I use that is safe in pregnancy?

You can consult your healthcare provider, but paracetamols are usually safe and are the first line to use if you are experiencing these symptoms and need to take medication.

I received a dose of one brand of vaccine and then became pregnant. Will I be eligible for this vaccine as my second dose is due?

The WHO has only authorized certain combinations of vaccines at this time. Your healthcare provider will provide up to date guidance on your individual case.

Can I receive other vaccines at the same time as this one?

At this time, you should wait at least two weeks after the second dose before taking any other vaccine which may be offered to you in pregnancy, as part of our established vaccination programme. Research is ongoing and will be updated if the recommendations change.

Will this vaccine protect me against the variants to the original virus?

At this time, all current WHO-approved vaccines have been shown to offer protection and reduce the chances of hospitalization and death.

Will my baby get COVID-19 if I get vaccinated?

None of the vaccines contain the live virus. There is no risk of you or your baby contracting COVID-19 from a vaccine. Protective antibodies however have been shown to go from the vaccinated mother to the baby.

How do mRNA vaccines work? Are they new?

The mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to produce a protein that will cause our body to react and develop antibodies to the virus. Later on, these antibodies will protect us from the disease if we are exposed. The current mRNA vaccines are new but not unknown. Researchers have been studying and working with them for decades for other diseases like flu and Zika.

Can the vaccine affect my baby?

Real-world evidence has shown that the vaccine is safe for pregnant women. The Ministry of Health is following the advice of the World Health Organization and continuously reviews the scientific data to as safety is our highest priority. The vaccine does not cross the placenta or is it transferred in breastmilk.

Additionally, the vaccine may provide protection to babies by transferring antibodies to fight COVID-19 through the placenta in pregnant women, and through breastmilk after delivery.

Will I be able to breastfeed after I receive the vaccine?

Yes. The vaccine is not passed to the baby in the breastmilk. The baby may receive antibodies in breastmilk that may offer protection to your baby against COVID-19.

Will the vaccine offer protection against the variant forms of the virus?

The vaccine has been shown to offer protection against the currently identified variants that are in circulation worldwide including the Delta variant.

My blood type is rhesus negative and I require an injection with Anti D Immunoglobulin. Will this treatment be affected?

No. Your treatment will occur at the usual time and is not influenced by the timing of the vaccine.

Can pregnant foreigners access the vaccine? 

Yes. The vaccine is available to all persons in Trinidad and Tobago. This is a public health emergency and everyone is recommended to receive a vaccine. 

Click Here for COVID-19 Q&A Videos

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