PAHO defends Sinopharm vaccine following newspaper article – Jamaica Observer

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The Express shared that he spoke to three doctors who revealed that the majority of patients presented to them with symptoms of COVID-19 were the unvaccinated and those who were vaccinated with Sinopharm.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said the China-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by its emergency use list after “rigorous evaluation by independent experts” as he sought to reassure the public about the effectiveness of the vaccine.

PAHO’s decision follows a front-page story in the Sunday Express newspaper in Trinidad which said it had used the services of a local laboratory “to carry out antibody titer tests to analyze the antibody level in people fully vaccinated with Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines.

The newspaper said it funded the tests at TT$750 each and on November 25 blood samples were taken from two 60-year-old women, one fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca, the second dose on June 23 of this year, and the other fully vaccinated with Sinopharm, second dose on June 28, 2021.

The Express said it spoke to Dr Steven Myint, an internationally renowned, England-based immunologist and coronavirus expert who developed the first-ever corona vaccine 35 years ago. The article states that Myint unequivocally stated that there was not enough data on the Sinopharm vaccine and indicated that the best vaccines to use are mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna. The Express also shared that he spoke to three doctors who revealed that the majority of patients presented to them with symptoms of COVID-19 were the unvaccinated and those vaccinated with Sinopharm.

The newspaper article was criticized by the Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, who said: ‘This has to be the worst piece of irresponsible journalism I have ever seen.

“In a pandemic, where thousands of doctors and numerous international agencies and hundreds of thousands of newspapers and other media entities are present and reporting, the Express has made the finding as published, to undermine a vaccine that could very well be a victim of geopolitics,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

“Where is the science here? Who are the people responsible for this dataset published in this way? It’s not just embarrassing, it’s downright destructive and disturbing,” Rowley continued. “Who is going to be fired here? Attempting to undermine a country’s vaccination program during a pandemic is simply criminal.

The Chinese Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago, in a statement, defended the vaccine, saying the Sunday Express newspaper’s findings were based on a “crude and amateurish study” with only four samples and are therefore a complete farce.

“We are pleased to see that the medical laboratory mentioned in the report immediately issued a disclaimer against this report, emphasizing that “scientific analysis and opinions should be left to professionals and persons qualified to do so and must be based on facts”.

The embassy called the story “a most irresponsible media report,” adding that the article blatantly ignored extensive globally recognized scientific research, misrepresented facts, violated journalism ethics, sowed public panic, and targeted to undermine the resolve and actions of Trinidad and The people of Tobago in their “courageous battle” against the pandemic.

In its statement, PAHO said updated recommendations were issued on October 28 regarding Sinopharm and “according to this document, Sinopharm has an efficacy rate of 79% against symptomatic disease and 79% against ‘hospitalization.

PAHO also said 69 countries have approved the use of the Sinopharm vaccine, including the UK.

He said that countries that recognize the Sinopharm vaccine as valid proof of vaccination include Austria, Australia, Cyprus, Canada, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

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