(CMC)— Trinidad & Tobago Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh on Wednesday warned that toddlers were becoming the latest victims of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and reiterated earlier appeals for people to get vaccinated in the twin island republic where the virus has killed 1,998 people and infected 66, 975 others since March last year.
Deyalsingh, speaking at a news conference, said a significant number of the parents of the infected babies had tested positive for the virus and a vast majority of those group are unvaccinated.
“Over the past three months, we have had 14 children under the age of one year come down with the virus and 11 of those children are under three months old,” Deyalsingh said, adding “11 toddlers, babies, under three months old have contracted COVID.
“These toddlers are not going out to work, they are not going here, they are not going there. The virus is basically coming home and meeting them and sending them into the hospital,” he said.
The health minister said he was appealing once more to members of the public to get vaccinated as this is one way of dealing with the spread of the virus.
“The virus is coming home and meeting these young babies in arms and these young children under one year old. So we continue to urge all those who are eligible to be vaccinated, that is all those over 12 to be vaccinated.
‘That is the herd, that 1.1 million people, 12 and over that is the herd, but that herd now is only 45.6 per cent vaccinated. So we still have a very long way to go to avoid what is happening in other countries, in Europe, other parts of the world,” he said, reminding journalists that four people under the age of 18 had already died of the virus.
Trinidad and Tobago has been using the US-manufactured Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages 12 and 18.
Figures released by the Ministry of Health indicate that 636,885 people have been fully vaccinated with 13, 523 others having received a third boost.
Over the weekend, the ministry reported that a child had died as a result of the virus.