Fri | Oct 15, 2021

No report of testicular swelling, says T&T health minister in response to Nicki Minaj claim

Published:Thursday | September 16, 2021 | 12:11 AM
Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj

Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh has denied a claim made by Trinidad-born rapper Nicki Minaj that the COVID-19 vaccine has resulted in testicular swelling.

“It is, as far as we know, at this time, there has been no such reported either side effect or adverse event, and what was sad about this is that it wasted our time yesterday trying to track [it] down because we take all these claims seriously, whether it is on social media or mainstream media,” said Deyalsingh in a Trinidad and Tobago COVID-19 update.

He said checks were made, and there is no such report on the island.

“One of the reasons we could not respond yesterday in real-time to Ms Minaj is that we had to check and make sure that what she was claiming was true or false, and unfortunately, we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim,” he said. “As it stands now, there is absolutely no reported such side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad. I dare say Dr [Avery] Hinds anywhere else. None that we know of anywhere else in the world.”

Deyalsingh was not the only one who sought to clarify the claims. After being asked about the comments made by Minaj, England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said anyone “peddling untruths” to discourage others from getting the vaccine should be ashamed of themselves.

On Monday, Minaj sent a series of tweets to her more than 22 million followers, including the story regarding her cousin’s friend being rendered impotent after being vaccinated. However, she also said that she was “sure” she would end up getting a shot in order to go on tour but wanted to do more research, and in that same tweet, encouraged others to take the jab if their jobs were at risk.

When asked about the impotency remark, Whitty stressed that most people are ignoring baseless claims and are getting the vaccines — 81.2 per cent of people 16 and older in Britain are fully vaccinated. “There are a number of myths that fly around, some of which are just clearly ridiculous and some of which are clearly designed just to scare,” Whitty said. “That happens to be one of them. That is untrue.”

Minaj continued her tweets on Wednesday, stating that she was invited to the White House as she sought more information about the vaccine. “I’ll ask questions on behalf of the [people] who have been made fun of for simply being human,” she said.