People spreading propaganda that the swine flu vaccine is unsafe is causing a major problem, says Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.
"But the vaccine is safe, available and that's the action we now have to take," Deyalsingh said on Tuesday.
He was replying to UNC Senator Wade Mark's queries in the Senate on Tuesday.
"(Yesterday) I called on the T&T Medical Association and Medical Board that they should no longer be silent on this issue because those spreading propaganda are discouraging people from getting the vaccine," he said.
Following five confirmed deaths from swine flu, Mark had asked Deyalsingh about what steps are being take to increase awareness on how to avoid contracting the (H1n1) virus.
Deyalsingh detailed a slew of media and other advertising programmes since November which outlined the urgent steps being taken to increase public awareness on how to avoid getting it.
"The major problem now isn't not getting vaccinated or getting the vaccine, it's people who ought to know better having access to the media, spreading rumour and propaganda about the safety of the vaccine and I encourage the public to ignore them as the vaccines are safe, they're available and that's the action we now have to take," he said.
On why - despite all the steps the authorities have taken- there had been five deaths, Deyalsingh added, "It has to do with the reluctance of the public to heed all warnings to get the vaccine and get vaccinated; especially two main groups, the pregnant population who have an aversion to getting vaccinated, and health care workers."
Reporter: Gail Alexander