Health Ministry refutes social media claims about death of 8-month old

The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MHW) is refuting claims being made on social media that an eight-month-old baby who passed away at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) last Thursday received the MMR vaccine.

A release from permanent secretary Wayne Webster said no child in Barbados is given the vaccine for Mumps, Measles and Rubella before age one, and an autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of this “tragic death”.

The public is also being urged to stop spreading misinformation.

Marshall said the child, who was referred to the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) by a private medical practitioner, arrived in an unconscious state and died following failed resuscitation efforts.

The child received its scheduled immunisations at age two, four and six months, the last of which was administered at the St Philip Polyclinic on April 2.

“The MHW however wishes to categorically state that the child had not received the MMR vaccines as is being misleadingly stated in the public domain. The policy of the MHW is that the minimum age at which MMR vaccines are administered to children is one year of age,” the release said.

“Vaccines have been issued by the expanded programme of immunisation in Barbados since the late 1970s. The vaccines used locally have been demonstrated to be effective at reducing the risk of disease. The MHW reminds parents to keep their children’s vaccinations up-to-date according to the recommended schedule to minimise the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

The Ministry is also pushing back against claims in the public domain about COVID-related deaths.

“These numbers stand at 648 with no deaths in the last reporting period of April 13th to May 10th. The COVID-19 vaccine was made available to the public by MHW during the pandemic as part of its commitment to use evidence-based measures to reduce the risk of severe illness and death.

“The MHW urges members of the public to desist from spreading alarm and fear amongst the population through the practice of maliciously circulating misinformation” and expressed condolences to the family of the deceased child. (PR/SAT)

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