Turning Point – Stabroek News

I received a recent, unexpected call from a close relative in Northern Europe, informing me that she was being offered the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, but that she was too scared to take it.

We quietly discussed the vast odds of her having an unusual blood clot even as bandwidth fluctuates and our internet connection comes and goes.

Despite the very low risks to his age group above 60 and my quote from research that the benefits outweigh potential risks, he concluded that his fear of COVID-19 was less than showing a rare reaction to a vaccine the world’s most widespread against him. the mutation virus. At that point, the family connection was also in mortal danger of brewing, much like my favorite double mask and my endless patience over science and voting deniers.

“I would accept it, if I had the chance,” I advised firmly, thinking we could swap places, but her thinking was unreasonable. On this side of the planet, by accident of geography, I and many millions of others in developing countries who have little hope of rapidly vaccinating their populations, enjoy no luxury, have the right to refuse , or as my mother would do. observed, “to pick and choose,” then decline.

Only seven people have died from blood clots after receiving the vaccine in the United Kingdom (UK). In total, only 30 people out of the 18 million vaccinated by the review date last March 24, showed the side effect, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported. Based on UK data alone, if a million people are vaccinated, then you could expect fewer than two to have a blood clot, with one death per 2.6M vaccine. If a million 60-year-olds caught the virus then about 20,000 would die from COVID-19.

These rare globes in the brain, known as “cerebral venous sinus thromboses” or CVSTs have prompted some wealthy nations, including Germany, France, the Netherlands and Canada, to stop, and later resume limited use of the AstraZeneca concoction, although the condition was found. in only a handful of patients.

Yesterday, the European Medicines Agency continued to emphasize the benefits of the vaccine, in a study that looked at 86 continental cases, reflecting information about 25 million Europeans treated with the shot. Chiming in, the World Health Organization added that while a blood clot link was “credible” it was not “confirmed” with “very rare” cases among the 200 million people vaccinated with AstraZeneca worldwide. The European Union (EU) has used vaccine export controls in a nationalist attempt to protect its own supplies and vulnerable populations.

Contrast that with the obvious gap between vaccination programs in different countries, with many, mostly in Africa, yet to report a single dose. More than 132 million Covid-19 infections have been recorded worldwide, along with more than 2.8 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University research. More than 693 million vaccine doses were given, equal to 9 doses per 100 people, but about 84 percent of shots have gone to arms in high- and upper-middle-income provinces, with only 0.1 percent of The doses are given in low-income countries. , says the New York Times, referring to findings gathered from government sources by the Our World in Data project at Oxford University.

The conversations left me sad and confused, and caused me to think about vaccine unfairness, inadequacy, and injustices. Here in the Caribbean, where we don’t have many valuable vaccines to go around, I resign to my much greater risk of being fatally shot by a gunman in a 1.4M crime-ridden country, than which I have of securing one shot of the initial 34 000 doses just sent to Trinidad and Tobago through the COVAX facility.

Ironically, if I had remained a permanent resident of Guyana, I would have qualified as a middle-aged countryman and over 40 for the current round of AstraZeneca which has come from COVAX with other shipments due from India and China. Then again, given the ongoing obsession with money and keeping the country and its airports, bars and clubs open for big business, instead of sensible tighter national locks of deaf tone administration, we very well could have finished worse than at least the three cautious relatives of my direct Guyana branch who caught the virus and got lucky late last year, without their smell and taste glands. Three others in the same home were completely unaffected.

We may have already reached a terrible turning point, with a current surge, involving nearly 200 new cases in just two days, even as the limited local vaccination campaign is underway. Last month saw the highest number of new infections, with the death toll reaching 250 by yesterday. Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony warned that dozens of people were in state hospitals because of the virus and many needed respiratory help. COVID-19 cases have risen in the last two months in Regions Four, Three and Seven and more infected people now need to be hospitalized.

“Make no mistake, COVID-19 transmission is very active in Guyana at the moment. Every time someone leaves home, you are in danger. As in other countries, COVID-19 also shows that during this new surge, it is spreading faster and has become more deadly. Most worries, COVID-19 now affects younger people, and causes serious illness in people, not only younger, but without any comparisons. COVID-19 is more dangerous now than at any time before, ”the Ministry warned in a statement on Friday.

The speed of vaccination will be too slow to prevent the latest wave of infection, so we can expect figures to rise in the deadly days and weeks ahead, given the over-willingness to throw down regulations and advice, and the Government’s reluctance . take decisive action. Other nations are rushing to re-impose restrictions on movement and businesses, ordering people to stay home, but we’re stoked on drunk, no masks and waiting in assemblies for the spike that could see our few hospitals get fill them and our fragile health system is on the verge of collapse a year after the outbreak.

I’m starting to feel like the sick patient who went to a doctor, who prescribed a powerful laxative instead of cough drops. At the end of the week, the patient came back for an examination. The doctor asked: “So how’s it going, are you still coughing a lot?”

The patient, sitting there rigidly, looked at him with wide eyes, admitting, “No. I’m scared. ”

ID looks back to 1961 when astronomer Frank Drake developed a simple equation, consisting of seven variables, to estimate the probability of finding extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way. Fluid mechanics experts have developed a similar formula to answer what determines a person’s chance of catching COVID-19.