Stroke, heart attack & diabetic patients among fully vaccinated deaths

-- Dr. Carpen says vaccines still ‘best bet’


By Vishani Ragobeer

Over the past few weeks, it has been reported that a few fully vaccinated patients died after they were infected with the novel coronavirus but Head of Medical Services at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Dr. Mahendra Carpen says that these patients had other severe, life-threatening conditions that contributed to their passing.

These other severe and life-threatening conditions are referred to as comorbidities.

“Almost 100 per cent of the breakthrough cases that unfortunately died are persons who have had severe comorbid conditions.

“(They were) stroke survivors, diabetic patients, recent heart attacks and so forth,” Dr. Carpen said during an interview with the News Room on Friday.

A “breakthrough” case, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is when a person tests positive for COVID-19 at least two weeks after becoming fully vaccinated.

Since the administration of the COVID-19 vaccines started earlier this year, they were touted as the best available medical tool that could help to protect people from experiencing the more severe and life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19.

There have been concerns, however, that these vaccines do not protect people from becoming infected and even, getting hospitalised due to the emergence of the more severe symptoms.

Dr. Carpen explained that these breakthrough cases are indeed possible but added that the “bad outcomes” have been recorded in those patients who have “severe multiple comorbid conditions”.

From September 13, the Ministry of Health started to reveal the vaccination status of people who died from COVID-19. Since then, it was reported that 57 patients, who had COVID-19, died, including four fully vaccinated patients.

Previously, it was reported that two other fully- vaccinated patients who had COVID-19 had also passed away. The News Room confirmed that they were both suffering from diabetes and hypertension, in addition to other ailments which all contributed to their death.

Dr. Carpen also reminded members of the public that since the beginning of the pandemic, reputable health authorities warned that people with these comorbidities are more vulnerable to the worse effects of COVID-19.

Earlier this year, research by Australia’s Griffith University found cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and hypertension are the four main comorbidities leading to COVID-19 deaths. But Dr. Carpen noted that such findings are not just theoretical information or information relating to patients abroad – it is the reality in Guyana.

“When you look at the data…it is quite clear that the persons admitted there are those who have higher number of comorbidities.”

The Head of Medical Services, who has oversight for the Ocean View ‘COVID’ hospital, also noted that while there are numerous reports of people dying from COVID-19, every day there are people who recover and are discharged from the hospital.

And even so, he made a fervent appeal for people to get vaccinated so that they can have the “best chance of defence” against COVID-19.

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