Unvaccinated physician dies from virus Sunday; mother and newborn test positive
Vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths among those without the jab
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Despite surging cases and hospitalizations overwhelming the healthcare sector, only around 50 percent of healthcare workers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus in The Bahamas, health officials revealed yesterday.
During a virtual press conference, National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee Co-Chair Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis revealed that two physicians and a nurse who were unvaccinated were hospitalized for COVID-19.
One of the physicians deteriorated and died from the virus on Sunday.
Dahl-Regis, who expressed condolences to the family of the physician, called on her colleagues in medicine to take the jab and protect themselves and their families against the virus.
“I say to my professional health colleagues, in our profession, we practice according to the science, the science of medicine,” she said.
“We know now that there is no scientific merit to claims that the vaccine is unsafe.
“Concerns about the fast pace development of the vaccine, the risk of blood clots, harm to your genetic makeup, interference with fertility — all these concerns have been put to rest by scientific reports and I want to assure that there is no evidence to support these concerns.”
Dahl-Regis added that it is the “responsible role” of healthcare professionals to become vaccinated and not to put themselves in jeopardy
According to Dahl-Regis, a mother and her newborn, delivered on August 12, tested positive for COVID-19.
She said this was the second case of a newborn contracting the virus in The Bahamas, and represents the youngest case on record to date.
“We must also take full advantage of the opportunity to be vaccinated as quickly as possible,” she said.
“We need all age groups to fully participate in this effort.”
Dahl-Regis pointed to data compiled on coronavirus cases in The Bahamas since mid-March that showed the vast majority of hospitalized cases and deaths were among the unvaccinated.
To date, there have been no deaths or hospitalizations among fully vaccinated individuals.
Between March 14 and July 31, 411 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19.
Of that number, 400 were unvaccinated and 11 were only partially vaccinated.
During the same period, 53 people died of COVID-19.
Of them, 52 were unvaccinated and one was partially vaccinated.
While encouraging vaccination, health officials also promoted adherence to health protocols, even for those fully vaccinated, amid concerns of more contagious variants such as alpha and delta, the latter of which remains to be confirmed in The Bahamas.
“The best way to protect ourselves is to get vaccinated,” Dahl-Regis said.
“…We know health protocols work.
“It is important everyone, the vaccinated and unvaccinated, continue to follow the protocols.”