The COVID-19 protocols put in place to curb the spread of the virus also apply to vaccinated people, the Ministry of Health says.
At least 31 fully-vaccinated people locally have tested positive for COVID-19 and one of them is hospitalised as a result of the infection.
At the same time, one partially-vaccinated person was also hospitalised.
However, 26 unvaccinated people are hospitalised with COVID-19.
“I’m not sure we have specific protocols for vaccinated versus unvaccinated people,” Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Roger Duncan said at a Ministry of Health press conference, on Thursday, in response to a question about the wearing of face coverings by vaccinated people.
“So for everyone, we still advise you, in closed spaces, please wear face coverings. And as far as possible, please keep your distance. If you could do six feet, that’s really perfect. If you can do three [feet], then we could live with that. But that’s the advice for everyone,” Duncan said.
Regarding how COVID-19 presents itself in vaccinated people, Duncan said:
“… we’re seeing, which is typical of [the] Delta [variant], sore throat, fever, abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhoea. And this is then followed by a cough and those people who are severe, who require admission, usually end up with some level of shortness of breath related to some respiratory complications.”
He noted that vaccinated people accounted for just 2.7% of the active COVID-19 cases in St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the time.
“That includes those who are fully vaccinated while others are partially vaccinated. And in terms of hospitalisation there is only one fully vaccinated person who’s been hospitalised so far,” Duncan said.
He said that while some clusters had been linked to unvaccinated people, his ministry had not linked any of the clusters to vaccinated people.
“… I’m not going to say that it doesn’t exist. Just to say that we haven’t had those so far,” Duncan said.
Regarding the argument in support of vaccination against COVID-19, Duncan said:
“We will probably want to do it this way, because the key thing about vaccines, we know we’ve lost some of the protection from vaccines, because of the Delta variants where we had probably a 91% protection from infection, that’s probably fallen to about 66%.
“But the key thing, though, is that the vaccines are going to protect you from becoming severely ill, protect you from hospitalisation and protect you from death. And I mean, I don’t think that there’s any better message in this case for us to send. “
He reiterated that even among the 31 breakthrough cases of vaccinated people testing positive, only one was hospitalised.
“So the bulk of the hospitalisation, over 99% of the hospitalisation, is among unvaccinated people. And all the deaths are among unvaccinated persons. It’s not just here, but everywhere else. The same thing is happening in Grenada, and Barbados, in Antigua, in Jamaica, that the data is clearly indicating that vaccinated persons are being protected from severe disease, hospitalisation and death,” Duncan said.
As of Sunday, Sept. 26, SVG had recorded 3,338 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020.
Of those 2,381 have recovered, 940remain active and 17 people with COVID-19 have died.