Forbes says data should be convincing argument to become vaccinated and keep up public health measures
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The latest data on coronavirus patients in the last month shows that the overwhelming majority of patients being hospitalized and dying continues to be unvaccinated individuals.
However, there were at least three cases of fully vaccinated people being hospitalized — indicative of breakthrough infections as The Bahamas battles COVID variants.
The data was compiled from hospitalizations and deaths at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) during the period of August 1 through September 8.
Of the 400 people hospitalized during the period, less than one percent, just three people, were fully vaccinated, evidencing that fully vaccinated people can experience symptoms requiring hospitalization, though in very small numbers.
According to Director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme Dr Nikkiah Forbes, those patients either had COVID pneumonia or needed support for the virus.
The vast majority of hospitalizations, nearly 96 percent or 383 people, were unvaccinated, while another 3.5 percent or 14 cases were partially vaccinated.
There were 104 COVID-related deaths in the same period.
Not dissimilar to hospitalizations, the vast majority or deaths were among the unvaccinated, a trend observed in the last period of observation.
Another 4.8 percent or five people who died were partially vaccinated.
There were zero recorded deaths among fully vaccinated cases.
The data includes people who have taken the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Forbes said the data is telling and should speak to the need for Bahamians to get vaccinated and continue to adhere to all public health measures.
“When you look at COVID deaths, people who have died from COVID pneumonia and who went into respiratory distress and their oxygen levels were unable to sustain their life — we were not able to save them — the majority of persons that died, 95 percent, approximately, were unvaccinated persons,” she told Eyewitness News.
“That does speak to the fact that COVID-19 vaccines will help tremendously to reduce the chance of dying or even ending up in hospital if you look at the odds here.
“That is what our data shows and we really want to be very forthcoming and make this data available so that people can see for themselves what the local experience is.
“Now, as I say that, there are fully vaccinated persons who can get admitted to the hospital for other causes.
“Some of them may even have breakthrough infections, though a very small number.
“There are international reports of people who are fully vaccinated who can get a breakthrough infection, they can get infected with COVID and there are even reports of some persons still dying, but this is very uncommon.”
Forbes said a fully vaccinated individual can be admitted for other surgical causes or have comorbidities and die from that surgical-related issue or their existing ailments.
As of yesterday, 173,130 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered, with 65,915 people being fully vaccinated — around 16 percent of the population.
A total of 110,712 people have received at least one dose.
This means around 27 percent of the population has become partially vaccinated.
On New Providence, where the vast majority of cases exist, 128,954 doses have been administered, with 45,310 people being fully vaccinated.
As of Sunday, there were a total of 19.440 cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, with 1,828 remaining active.
A total of 454 COVID deaths have been confirmed, with 29 under investigation.