HAMILTON, Bermuda– Health Minister Kim Wilson says more than 10,000 people – roughly a sixth of Bermuda’s population – have registered their interest in vaccination against COVID-19 which has killed 12 people this British Overseas Territory.
White people outnumbered the island’s majority black population in getting vaccinated, with 5,430 white, 1,534 black, 889 mixed race, and 2,838 unspecified, Wilson told Tuesday’s night’s weekly media briefing as Government House confirmed almost 20,000 more doses of vaccine are on their way from the United Kingdom.
“To reach herd immunity, we need many more people to get vaccinated,” she said, adding that herd immunity will be achieved when 60 to 70 percent of the population gets the COVID-19 jab.
Premier David Burt welcomed an increase in the number of black people who had registered to be immunized.
He appealed to people to ignore bogus social media advisories and learn the science behind the vaccines, which he said were safe.
Wilson said 2,932 people had been vaccinated in the week to last Saturday. Of those, 1,227 or 42 percent were male, and 1,705 or 58 percent were female.
A total of 608 people were aged 80 or over, and 294 were rested, home residents.
799 were essential workers – 34 percent of all eligible – and 602 of them healthcare workers, 25 percent of those eligible.
However, Wilson admitted: “We still have a long way to go before critical groups in high-risk areas are safely vaccinated.”
She added more vaccination centers were needed in addition to the Police Recreation Club at Prospect and the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital vaccination center, which opened on Monday if Bermuda was to reach its goal of 800 vaccinations a day and a total of 19,000 by the end of March.
The Health Minister said two new COVID-19 cases, taking the island’s total to 688, were recorded on Tuesday out of the latest 543 test results. There are now 30 active cases. Five people are in hospital, but none of them is in intensive care.
One of the latest victims flew in from the Azores while the other was a passenger on a New York flight.
More than 160,000 tests have so far been carried out.
Government House said another 19,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are scheduled to arrive on Thursday’s British Airways flight from London. These are in addition to the 9,750 doses the British government donated to Bermuda recently.
“The second batch of 19,500 vaccines and equipment is booked to arrive on the BA flight on Thursday. As before, the provision and transportation of these vaccines and equipment has been provided at no cost to the people of Bermuda,” Governor Rena Lalgie said.
“The UK government remains committed to assisting its Overseas Territories in their fight against COVID-19 and are pleased to be able to support the government of Bermuda in its goal to vaccinate 36 percent of Bermuda’s population by the end of March.”