Epidemiologis Dr Avery Hinds

The 80 vials of Pfizer vaccines donated by the US for use by an arm of National Security, have finally been released for use.

Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds yesterday confirmed that the vaccines were let out of the bond during the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 media conference.

“Yes, documentation was received and the vaccines have been handed over to the relevant Ministry and it is expected that the distribution of those vaccines should begin today (yesterday),” Hinds said.

On Sunday, Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds confirmed social media reports that 80 vials, enough vaccines to inoculate 200 people, were gifted to his ministry by the US government.

The vaccines were brought into the country by a US official and held in a bonded area by Customs and Excise.

However, on Monday, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram said that the Ministry of Health had taken control of the vaccines and was waiting on documentation before releasing them to the Ministry of National Security.

Neither the CMO nor Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh attended yesterday’s news conference.

Also, Hinds said that just under seven per cent of all virus fatalities registered happened at home, while the majority occurred in the parallel health care system.

“There were a couple that we would have identified out of our continuing monitoring of forensic deaths, meaning deaths from external causes but swabbed subsequently for COVID-19 and found to be positive,” he said.

Those, he said, were very small numbers “between three and four.”

“And some that would have entered the A&E systems at the hospital and were severely ill and did not survive transfer from A&E to parallel health care system, somewhere in the vicinity of 26 per cent or so,” Hinds said.

Hinds also said they still have not completed the tabulations of those who died in Intensive Care and in the High Dependency Unit (HDU).

“They are not always tagged with which level of care was involved a the time of death, so that is something that we are backfilling,” he said.

Hinds promised to give those details at a later time.

However, he said that once a person needs intensive care or is warded in the HDU, they are already very ill so that the probability of them dying in those areas is high.

With regard to the collected and collated data, Hinds said that the nationalities of COVID-19 positive patients and deaths are not being tabulated.

He said the data on the nationalities does not always come to his division. Hinds said he was also not sure that the data on nationalities was routinely collected.

“For the simple reason that our public health care system provides healthcare to whomever comes to it,” he said.

Hinds said the nationalities of patients would be “somewhere in the notes” but said it was not something that was collated and sent to his office.