Burt: This is preventable. This does not have to happen
Bermuda’s top doctors last night pleaded for the public to trust science rather than social media and get vaccinated.
Medics said vaccination was the single best way to beat the latest Covid-19 outbreak.
David Burt, the Premier, highlighted there was a high degree of vaccination hesitancy among the Black community in particular.
Unvaccinated people account for about 90 per cent of the present outbreak’s hospital cases.
Mr Burt said the Government’s position on vaccinations was unchanged and it would not mandate vaccinations in the civil service.
He added: “If you choose not to get vaccinated, wear a mask and make sure people around you are wearing masks.”
But he said: “It breaks my heart. There are people in the hospital right now who I consider friends, fighting for their lives, who have defriended me and said they are not talking to me.”
Mr Burt said he had been accused of “trying to push poison” as he promoted vaccination.
But he insisted the outbreak could be contained if people did the right thing. Earlier yesterday, he repeated the same theme in answering questions from The Royal Gazette.The full question and answer session is here.
Mr Burt said: “This is preventable. This does not have to happen.”
Ayo Oyinloye, the Chief Medical Officer, backed Mr Burt.
He said: “If you have not been vaccinated, this is the time to get vaccinated.
“This is the single most important thing you can do for you and your loved ones.“
Dr Oyinloye revealed he had lost a colleague to Covid-19.
He warned that getting advice online through Google or YouTube videos “is not research”.
Dr Oyinloye said good advice came from people who had spent “their entire lives” in medicine.
He told the public: “Listen to people who know.”
Kim Wilson, the health minister said: “One of the biggest frustrations I have is we are in our fourth wave.
“We’ve all spoken of the importance of vaccination and made sure we acquired very early sufficient supplies for persons to be vaccinated.
“Persons that choose not to get vaccinated, I appreciate, it’s personal.
“However, the more people get vaccinated, the more we get to normality.”
Wesley Miller, the Chief of Staff at the Bermuda Hospitals Board, said: “Covid is no joke”.
He added: “If you have not been vaccinated, get in line, get your first dose and three weeks later, get in line for your next dose.”
Dr Miller said vaccinations also reduced the severity of symptoms.
He said: “The challenge is watching it all unfold, but it’s even worse knowing where things will go but not being able to convince those who choose to believe social media or friends who have no healthcare training or experience – but they have great advice as to why people should not take the vaccine.”
Dr Miller said he had been hearing less in recent weeks about using the anti-parasite drug ivermectin to treat Covid-19.
He branded the drug “useless”
Dr Miller added: “Do not take it under any idea it can prevent serious disease.”