By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
DATA from Princess Margaret Hospital shows of the 104 COVID-19 deaths between August 1 and September 8 more than 95 percent of those patients were unvaccinated. This accounts for 99 people.
The data also shows five deaths for partially vaccinated people — or 4.81 percent — while no fully vaccinated person died within the timeframe.
In terms of hospitalisations during this time period, less than one percent of people admitted to hospital were fully vaccinated. However, 95.75 percent — or 383 people — of those admitted were unvaccinated while 3.5 percent — or 14 people — were partially vaccinated.
Wesley Francis, consultant surgical oncologist at PMH, explained the origin of the data to The Tribune.
“All those patients who are admitted are put in a simple Excel spreadsheet and categorised according to demographics and comorbidities,” he said yesterday. “A friend in Bermuda sent me one of those graphs where they were showing those hospitalised and one of the variables they included was vaccine status.
“They created a nice graph so I said, ‘(Dr) Forbes we should probably start doing that also.’ We then basically added another variable which was vaccine status and we started to collect data. Patients had to show if they were vaccinated, they have to show their vaccine card which includes information about when they were vaccinated. As the data sort of matured, we started to analyse it and show the majority of people being admitted were really unvaccinated. The data speaks for itself.
“I tried to get Doctors Hospital’s data but they weren’t recording it properly. I think they’re now starting to do that. Maybe in a couple of weeks they will figure it out. I wanted follow-up data from them too because some people are transferred out west and get discharged and I wanted that data but it’s hard and I couldn’t get that because again, Doctors Hospital wasn’t recording that. This was really just a group of residents at PMH who came together and did this. It is especially important to get the data from Doctors Hospital now that their volume is getting up there with PMH’s numbers.
“People focus on vaccine status but examining co-morbidities is really important because it allows us to predict who may die and we can use that as a way to triage patients and treat them. If you can use the model and determine who will be the sicker patients, maybe they can get a different cocktail of treatment because we have limited resources. That’s really the whole idea behind this thing but again, the public wants to know about vaccinated and unvaccinated,” he said.
During a press conference on Friday, Dr Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/ AIDS and Infectious Diseases Programme at the Ministry of Health, said of those admitted to hospital partially vaccinated, many had taken the shot less than 14 days prior to admission.
“Between the period of August 1 to September 8... we also admitted 400 people (with) COVID and that can tell you how bad this wave is and I can tell you preliminarily that 95 percent of those admissions from COVID were not vaccinated. Approximately four percent of people had one dose of the vaccine, many less than 14 days after the receipt,” Dr Forbes told reporters Friday.
“There were three persons and that accounted for less than one percent of fully vaccinated people who had a breakthrough infection and they all lived. Of those people who died from COVID... 95 percent of those persons were unvaccinated.
“Five percent had one dose of the vaccine and no persons admitted to Princess Margaret in that time period were fully vaccinated.”
According to the government’s latest vaccine tracker, 173,130 total doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered as of September 10.
Officials said 65,915 people are fully vaccinated, including those who have taken the one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
This total also includes Bahamians and residents who have been fully vaccinated abroad and registered on the government’s vax.gov.bs platform.