Two more Covid-19 deaths but fear of vaccine remains
The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed two more lives, it was revealed last night.
The grim news brought the death toll of the coronavirus up to 106.
There are 57 active cases of the coronavirus, with none of them in hospital, one in intensive care.
A total of eight positive test results were found among 2,997 results that came back to health officials since the last update – a positivity rate of 0.3 per cent.
There were seven cases classed as coming in from overseas and one is under investigation.
There have been 15 recoveries.
The seven-day average of the country’s real-time reproduction number is 0.51.
The country status remained at “community transmission”.
The news came as a top doctor said misconceptions about the Covid-19 vaccine had slowed uptake and the Black population was affected most.
Wesley Miller, the chief of staff at the Bermuda Hospitals Board, explained that, although vaccines were widely available, misinformation had prevented some people from getting the jab.
Dr Miller said: “People have various misconceptions about the vaccine, some of it spread by Facebook, some of it by a particular radio station, and, sadly, some of it by a small minority of practitioners who should know better.”
He said he had had many discussions with people about their misgivings and misunderstandings over the vaccine.
Dr Miller added: “It requires that sort of conversation in small groups and really catching individuals when they are ready to talk.
“Just putting it in the newspapers or press conferences or lectures on the radio will not always do it.”
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said there was a historic legacy of medical mistreatment and a distrust in vaccinations in the Black community.
She said that of the eligible people who had not received a vaccine, more than 17,000 were Black and about 7,600 were White.
Ms Wilson said: “It is mostly the Black community and pockets of the Black community that are not immunised, and equally important, it is largely the Black community who are dying from Covid because of the lack of immunisation.
“The reality is we have to keep beating the drum and continue the messaging and recognise that a number of deaths could have been avoided if those people had been immunised.
“It is a very, very sad reality that we are the most underrepresented with respect to immunisation an overrepresented when it comes to Covid-related deaths.”
Since the start of the pandemic last year, 106 people have lost their lives to the coronavirus in Bermuda.
Ms Wilson said of those who died from the virus between January 11 this year – when the vaccination programme began – and October 30, 86 per cent were not fully vaccinated.
She added that the mean age of fully vaccinated people who died of the virus was 78 and the mean age of those whose deaths were linked to the coronavirus without immunisation was 71.
Ms Wilson said that 89 per cent of the 303 people who had been hospitalised with the coronavirus over the same period were not fully vaccinated.