BHB shares vaccination status data of hospitalised patients

Sunday 9 May 2021: BHB today shared data from 14 March to 1 May 2021 that has highlighted the protection vaccination against COVID-19 brings, even as people go through the immunisation process. The start date (14 March) was the day the first hospitalisation of the current surge occurred, after a period of some time with zero COVID-19 patients.

Dr Wesley Miller, Chief of Staff, comments: “Of the 92 people who were admitted to hospital since the latest surge started, the most at-risk group were people who were not vaccinated at all. They made up 88% of admissions (81 people). People who had one dose were in a minority of 11% (10 people). One person (1%) had two doses, but it was within two weeks of the shot meaning full immunity had not been achieved.

“With a significant portion of the population now either fully vaccinated or having had one shot, that these people make up such a small proportion of hospitalisations, indicates that there is a protective effect even before you reach full immunity, which is two weeks after your second shot. If vaccination didn’t work or caused more illness, the numbers would be very, very different. In fact, if we hadn’t had so many people vaccinated during this surge, hospitalisation numbers and deaths could have been higher.”

“It is also likely that as people who end up in hospital are usually at least two weeks post-infection, they may have been infected very soon before or after their first shot, when immunity is low.

“We should be reassured that we are seeing the same kinds of results in Bermuda as the rest of the world – vaccination is safe and protects you from serious illness and hospitalisation. The vaccine teaches your own immune system to recognise and fight the virus if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you are not fully immunised and fall ill, the next line of defence will be medications and, if serious enough, other interventions to help you breathe.

“COVID-19 will continue to impact our lives unless we as a community stand together. Our own immune system is the most powerful protection we have – we need to nurture it with healthy living so it is strong, and teach it to recognise the virus with vaccination so it can respond quickly. If the first time your immune system sees the virus is when you are exposed, then it takes two weeks to build antibodies and that is a long time for COVID-19 to do damage and this can lead to more serious illness. The small fragments of the spike protein in the vaccine are enough for your body to be ready, and they break down and leave your body without any other damage.”

“Restrictions have saved us again this time, but they are not a long-term solution. Getting vaccinated is preventative. There have been no hospitalisations caused by vaccination, despite nearly 60,000 doses being delivered. We had nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases in the latest surge, but in the period under review (14 March – 1 May) this resulted in 92 hospitalisations and very sadly, 19 deaths.”

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Notes to Editors
The Bermuda Hospitals Board is a quango (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation) established under the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act, 1970. It has a Bermuda Government-approved Board and a Chief Executive Officer, responsible for King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. At the heart of both organisations is high-quality care to all patients.

With approximately 1,700 employees, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is Bermuda's second largest employer. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are the only healthcare organisations in Bermuda accredited by Accreditation Canada, an independent organisation whose role is to help hospitals examine and improve the quality of care and service they provide to their clients. In addition to providing an extensive list of services for the community, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is part of a referral network that includes some of the world's leading specialist hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm or contact the Bermuda Hospitals Board Public Relations Department at publicrelations@bhb.bm.