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Over 9K Vaccines Given, New Center At College

Bermuda has administered a total of 9095 vaccinations, a new Vaccination Centre will open at Bermuda College on February 15th, and the next tranche of vaccines from the UK is scheduled to arrive on February 25th.

Speaking at last night’s [Feb 9] press conference, Health Minister Kim Wilson said, “We have completed the fourth full week of vaccinations, and the second full week of vaccinations using two Vaccination Centres. For the period through to 6 February 2021, Bermuda has administered a total of 9095 vaccinations and the breakdown is as follows:

  • a total of 3990 or 44% males and 5105 or 56% females
  • with 2048 or 22% persons who are under 50,
  • 2257 or 25% persons between 50 and 64,
  • 3284 or 36% between 65 and 79, and
  • 1506 or 17% persons who are over 80 years old.

“Of the vaccine sites, and based on the Epi week ending 6 February,

  • the Vaccination Centre at the Police Recreation Club administered 5194 or 57% of vaccinations,
  • 552 or 6% were administered at rest homes and long term care,
  • 3291 or 36% were administered by the Bermuda Hospitals Board; and
  • 58 or <1% were administered at Other Vaccination Sites.

“Assessed against our vaccination targets, the Ministry can report the following:

  • 1309 persons or 42% of those aged 80 years or older have been vaccinated. 197 are fully immunized, meaning they have had two doses, and 1112 have had one vaccination.
  • 370 persons or 50% of those in rest homes and long term care facilities have been vaccinated. 182 are fully immunized and 188 have had one vaccination,
  • 1166 health care workers [48%] have been vaccinated. 747 are fully immunized and 419 have had one vaccination, and,
  • 1016 essential service workers [43%] have been vaccinated. 339 are fully immunized and 677 have had one vaccination.

“I would like to strongly encourage more men to be vaccinated and register to be vaccinated. As you can see from the chart, only 44% of those vaccinated thus far are male. According to a recent paper published by researchers at Yale University, men are around 1.7 times more likely than women to die from COVID-19. Additionally, men older than 30 have a significantly greater mortality risk.

“As I reported last week, we are now moving towards Phase 2 of the National Allocation Strategy. While we continue to ask those in Priority Group 1[A] or 1[B] who have not yet registered to please register and be vaccinated – and remember some essential workers may be younger than our seniors but they are Group 1A priorities – we are also now asking those residents in Phase 2, to register their interest online at forms.gov.bm/covidvaccine.

“Phase 2 is people 50 years and older, as well as vulnerable people [those with heart disease, chronic kidney or liver disease, and diabetes, for example], essential travellers and residents with disabilities.

“Some residents may be aware that we had to take down the online registration form over the past weekend so our team could undertake necessary upgrades as we move to Phase 2 registration. The form was back live yesterday morning.

“The upgrades were necessary in part because we are aware of some individuals in the community receiving their vaccinations seemingly not in the order of the Ministry’s vaccine allocation strategy. While out of the thousands of vaccines administered, this is a very small number of people, it is unfortunate.

“The vaccine team has worked hard to prioritise and make appointments for persons in Phases 1A and 1B. Doing this manually proved extremely time consuming, particularly in face of the overwhelming response received when we asked residents to register their interest in being vaccinated. Over time, the team developed a more automated process for ensuring persons in the target groups were scheduled for a vaccination based on key words as self-reported in the registration process.

“It became clear, however, that while the scheduling was quicker, some people got vaccination appointments who would not ordinarily be in a target group, while others who we wanted to capture, missed out.

“One of the refinements with the new registration form which, as I stated, went live yesterday, includes an improved ability to prioritise members of essential services, for example, and other key groups.

“We cannot guarantee persons outside a particular target group will not receive a vaccination appointment, but the changes to the appointments process should see a reduction in these already low numbers.

“That said, the Ministry will be issuing an RFP later this week which seeks to engage a vendor for a new Pandemic Response Administration system to cover all aspects of the pandemic from testing through to vaccinations.

“Please remember that registering your interest does not guarantee you an appointment at this time. When you submit your registration form, you will receive an auto-generated submission receipt. Your submission will be filed, and you will be contacted as appointments are scheduled. Please remember that, to the best of our ability, appointments are based on a medical risk assessment that, in turn, is based on age and clinical vulnerability – and with the new enhancements and, eventually, a new system, we hope this will be quicker! Every submission will be replied to, and there is no need for you to re-submit.

“With regard to the numbers of persons who have registered interest. To the week ending February 6, 15,133 persons have registered their interest in getting vaccinated. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 2866 Black
  • 7549 White
  • 1410 Mixed or Other
  • 3308 Prefer not to Say or Not Specified

“For those of you who have registered already – thank you. It is critical that we do everything we can to reduce the spread of this deadly virus, especially now as we witness the effects of the apparently more dangerous mutated variants closer to our shores.

“As I reported previously, the Ministry of Health has been working diligently to identify vaccine centres in order to reach our goal of having one third of residents vaccinated by March 31. I am pleased to announce that Bermuda’s new COVID Vaccination Centre at the Bermuda College Campus on South Shore in Paget will open on Monday, 15 February.

“The target for the initial Vaccination Centre at the Prospect Police Club was to administer 200 doses per day, and I am happy to report that we have continually met and exceeded that target – frequently administering more than 400 doses a day. Similarly, the target for the second vaccination centre at the King Edward Memorial Hospital was 200, and again I am pleased to report that we are also exceeding that target with close to 250 a day.

“With additional doses received from the UK, new targets are in the process of being set, and I am sure with the continued efforts of the hard-working team at the Ministry, we will meet those targets too.

“Targets are set based mainly on the quantity of doses we have to administer. A number of criteria feed into the decision matrix including the physical number of nursing stations, the length of time it takes to complete the necessary paperwork, the actual administering of the vaccine, the required waiting and observation time after the jab and other logistical factors such as the safe handling and delivery of the vaccine and the number of trained medical personnel available.

“The Bermuda College Campus site will allow us to open up to 10 vaccination stations vs. the 6 at the Prospect Police Club, and allow us to run the site for longer hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. if we must, with the necessary observation space.

“Included in the 9095 total number of vaccinations administered so far are the 1591 persons who are now fully immunized. By this I mean these are residents that have received both doses of the vaccine as recommended. It is extremely important to receive both doses as the two-dose regimen is proven to be dramatically more effective. While you get some immunity – approximately 52% – from the first injection, the second dose boosts the immunity to 95% effectiveness.

“I would ask all residents who are scheduled to receive their second dose – please do not miss your appointment! AND please attend the second dose at Bermuda College starting February 15. We will also send notifications to those who are already booked for their second appointment. If you do have to change your appointment, we ask that you call the Vaccination Hotline at 444 2498 [option #2] or email vaccine@gov.bm as soon as you can so that we can re-schedule your appointment,” the Minister added.

Premier David Burt also spoke about vaccinations, saying, “I would like to commend you and your team for the excellent work in scaling up the vaccination program. Over 4000 doses administered last week is excellent progress, and you and all those who have worked so hard to accelerate our pace of vaccinations are to be commended. ”

“The Government is continuing its work to expand Bermuda’s vaccination program. Earlier today, Government House confirmed that the next tranche of vaccines from the U.K is scheduled to arrive on February 25th. Further details, including the exact number of doses, will be provided in the coming days.”

If you are interested in more details on the vaccination figures, Bernews has added a new page charting them on our dedicated Covid-19 website BermudaCovid.com.”