Bermuda among top countries in world for vaccinations administered – minister
The health minister said she was grateful to residents who got vaccinated against the coronavirus after the island’s mass vaccination programme wound up.
Kim Wilson also urged anyone who was considering getting the jab for the first time to go to a “credible source” for information.
She told the House of Assembly on Friday that several venues across the island had been used for vaccinations in “busy” periods since the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines arrived in January 2021.
Ms Wilson said: “There were no stones unturned to ensure that everyone who wanted to get vaccinated had easy access.
“In addition to the Ministry of Health’s staff, who work between testing and contact tracing and case management, often in addition to their ‘day job’ of community nurse, we welcomed the necessary assistance of the Bermuda Hospitals Board and its staff, general practitioners, pharmacists, Advanced EMTs, dentists, vets and retired nurses.
“This collective effort placed Bermuda among the top countries in the world for vaccinations administered per capita.
“As minister, and on behalf of the ministry, I cannot thank these professionals enough.
“Their dedication to the island’s wellbeing is truly stellar.
“Our success in dealing with Covid-19 was and still is, a community effort. I am truly grateful to everyone involved, and I am also grateful to the many individuals in our community who got vaccinated.
“Those that came when we started 18 months ago, those that waited until they were eligible and registered as soon as they could, those who were sitting on the fence undecided and eventually got vaccinated.”
Ms Wilson said: “The coronavirus vaccine is key to living safely with Covid-19.
“It reduces the severity of Covid-19 if you get infected, and it reduces hospital admissions and deaths.
“The Ministry of Health recognises that this pandemic would have been worse if not for the level of vaccination in the community.
“We know that vaccines work and have the data to prove it.
“We are pausing our vaccination programme for a few months now, as the demand was insufficient to warrant another shipment.
“However, to those not yet vaccinated but considering, I urge you to seek information from a credible source to help you decide.”
MPs heard that since January 11, 2021, more than 75 per cent of Bermuda’s population was “fully immunised”.
Ms Wilson said: “Bermuda residents have received approximately 135,000 vaccinations.
“This is indeed great news for Bermuda. Our vaccination programme went tremendously well.
“Bermuda’s Covid-19 vaccination programme surpassed the World Health Organisation’s goal of 70 per cent immunisation of a population ahead of the June 30 target.”
The minister explained how a vaccination awareness programme included social-media campaigns, press conferences, interviews and Facebook live sessions as officials addressed “some of the misconceptions and myths that exist around getting the vaccine”.
She added: “A hard push was implemented through our Close to Home mobile vaccination programme in neighbourhoods island-wide.
“With a free minibus service, this programme ensured that transportation to a vaccination centre was not a barrier to getting the vaccine.”
* To read the minister’s remarks in full, click on the PDG under “Related Media”.