FLASHBACK – Doesn’t hurt at all... Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, who is in a high risk group for influenza, gets his flu shot on the first day of the 2020 flu season. (Image courtesy Ministry of Health)

Trinidad and Tobago has received its first shipment of 50,000 influenza vaccines courtesy the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Roshan Parasram, said the shipment constitutes half of this country’s order, and additional doses will be ordered as and when needed.

The CMO is urging the public to get vaccinated, noting while the flu vaccine does not prevent one from becoming ill, it would help to reduce the severity of the flu virus, if contracted.

During the flu season—which runs from October 2021 to May 2022—health officials will be targeting several groups for immunization including children between the ages of six months to five years; adults over 65 years; those above 60 years suffering from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs); pregnant women; people with compromised immune systems (such as those with HIV/AIDS and Lupus); persons with chronic respiratory illnesses including asthma and COPD; and overweight and obese persons.

In addition, healthcare workers and national security workers also are being targeted due to their exposure risk.