Dr Pickering was at the time speaking during the Saturday, April 17, 2021, episode of ‘ZOEJ’ Speaks with host Zoe J. Walcott, where he reiterated that with vaccination, the benefits outweigh the risk.
Many persons in the Virgin Islands have been reluctant to get vaccinated and their hesitation has been compounded by reports of rare blood clots developing in a very small number of persons. A little over 9000 persons of a population of around 30,000 have received at least a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and there reportedly have been no major adverse reactions to the jab.
“The whole concept of anything that we use from a medical point of use, [is] what are the risks, what are the benefits and anyway you sift through this whole discussion this debate, the benefits far outweigh the risk.
“In addition, what the data has not categorically shown is that you have much higher risk of getting blood clots from COVID, the disease itself, than the rare rare phenomenal of getting blood clots from the vaccine,” he said.
According to the medical doctor, persons can even get blood clots from air travel, which also presents higher incidents than vaccination.
“By comparison, although there are separate mechanisms by which you get blood clots, a birth control pill has a much higher incidence of women developing blood clots, you have a much higher incidence of developing blood clots when you fly on long flights and pregnancy itself predisposes to the blood,” he said.
Dr Pickering said despite the uncertainties surrounding the vaccines due to incidents of blood clots, the vaccines have remained safe and just about 1 in 250,000 have developed this complication.
During the April 4, 2021, edition of Real Talk with Karia J. Christopher on Flow Television and broadcasted online, Dr Pickering said vaccination remains a safe bet to fight the pandemic.
“What is important to understand in the context of this particular situation that we find ourselves in this pandemic that is caused by the virus COVID-19, our only weapon against this virus is vaccination.”
Meanwhile, Government has also been informing the public that the risk of blood clots from taking the AstraZeneca vaccine is far less than the possibility of developing blood clots from COVID-19 infection, smoking and the use of birth control pills.
According to Government, the risk of blood clots from taking the AstraZeneca vaccine is 4 cases in 1 million shots or 0.0004%.
The risk from birth control pills is 500-1200 in 1 million women or 0.05%-0.15%.
The risk from smoking is 1763 cases in 1 million smokers or 0.18%.
The risk from COVID-19 infection is 165,000 cases in 1 million cases or 16.5%.