Another 96 medical professionals have now signed a letter in support of the COVID-19 vaccine. The open letter, first released on September 23, now has close to 200 signatures, and counting.

The island’s doctors are also working together to answer some commonly heard questions in a new series designed to promote having a healthy conversation about vaccination.

This comes after the Bermuda Medical Doctors Association (BMDA) conducted a survey in August which revealed that 95.77% of the island’s doctors would recommend the Pfizer (or Moderna) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for a healthy adult without contraindications.

Dr. Wilbert Warner, internal medicine physician, says: “There has been an unfortunate assumption that those who hadn’t yet signed the letter were somehow against vaccination, which is simply not the case. Some had not yet had the opportunity, and the list of doctors on the Bermuda register includes many that no longer work here, who now live abroad, visiting specialists or retired physicians.”

Dr Fiona Ross, local GP, added: “As a doctor, you are portrayed as either/or. You’re a slave to science who just wants to vaccinate or you’re a holistic naturopath, when the reality is the majority of us practice holism. We need to have a conversation about how these meet.”

The doctors are seeing the same questions coming up surrounding hot topics such as boosting natural immunity, Ivermectin as a treatment, worries about fertility and the vaccine’s effect on breastfed babies.

“So far the conversation around combatting COVID-19 has largely been led by the Government and we saw this as an opportunity to help speak to the public’s fears and concerns. Hesitancy is natural, especially when it comes to something unfamiliar and it’s important to take government out of the equation because there’s so much mistrust among people everywhere. This is not just specific to Bermuda.

“I don’t want anyone to feel forced into getting vaccinated. As a doctor, I want you to ask questions; I want you to talk to me; I want you to tell me your concerns; And I want you to know the benefits. People just want to know they’re going to be safe and if they fear the vaccine that’s really powerful. Offering streams of statistics going back to March 2020 doesn’t help everyone. These are people’s beliefs. Once you respect that, it becomes easier to have a conversation.”

Dr Louise White, Local GP, adds that are so many options out there, such as calling your GP’s office or visiting the Department of Health’s weekend pop-up clinics at The Hamilton Princess.

“All the research and data has been a big learning curve for us as well,” Dr White added. “More than six and a half billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide. We’ve now got all this evidence out which emphatically demonstrates it much safer to be vaccinated against COVID-19 than to catch it when you are unvaccinated.

The doctors still agree that the vaccine is our number one chance at beating the virus.

“For all of us, vaccinated or not, it is not a matter of if we will be exposed to COVID-19, but when. Risking catching COVID when you have not been vaccinated is like Russian Roulette. It’s like betting everything you’ve got on red – and it comes up black. When it comes to COVID-19, we know that the elderly population do worse, we know that diabetics and co-morbidities do worse, but we don’t know why some fit and healthy 40-year-olds die, while others get away with a sniffle. We really don’t know. We do know that this is mostly preventable. We had to deal with the horror of the first wave, but now it’s preventable.

Dr Warner added: “I think it’s great that Bermuda’s doctors are standing up and saying this is what we believe.”

Full list of signatories below:

Dr. Annie Pinto, Dr. Wendy M Woods
Dr. Andrew West, Dr. Joseph Froncioni
Dr. Jennifer Barth, Dr. Annabel Carter
Dr. Burton Butterfield, Dr. Jonathan Power
Dr. Kristen Woodward, Dr. Nicola Terceira
Dr. Benjamin Lau, Dr. Laura Murphy
Dr. Stephen Kenny, Dr. Sylvanus Nawab
Dr. Sophie Mathew, Dr. Hannah Murray
Dr. Edgar Griffith, Dr. Kathryn Suter
Dr. Cathryn Siddle, Dr. Elaine Campbell

Dr. Ruth Macdonald, Dr. Milan Oleksak
Dr. Joanna Sherratt-Wyer, Dr. Michael Urdang
Dr. Mahesh Reddy, Dr. Jeffrey MacLeod
Dr. JJ Soares, Dr. Conor Ryan
Dr. Shaina Kelly, Dr. William Peckett
Dr. Catherine Wakely, Dr. Ranjini Patton
Dr. Chris Fosker, Dr. Sharon Alikani
Dr. Mike Czerwinski, Dr. Emma Robinson
Dr. Suraia Barclay, Dr. Louise White
Dr. Constance Richards, Dr. Patrick Murray
Dr. Gordon Campbell, Dr. Kim Foley
Dr. Ramon Arscott, Dr. Louise White

Dr. Sarah Winstanley, Dr. Wilbert Warner
Dr. Maureen Burke, Dr. Hayley Morton
Dr. Sam DeCouto, Dr. Chikezie Dean Okereke
Dr. Joanne Lysack, Dr. Ryan Bates
Dr. Diane Kooiman, Dr. Fiona Ross
Dr. Ewart Brown, Dr. George G. Shaw
Dr. Andrea Curkova, Dr. Alexander Romeo
Dr. Eugene Outerbridge, Dr. Margot Harvey
Dr. Lynette E. Thomas, Dr. Chantelle Simmons

Dr. Marva V. Phillips-Williams, Dr. Roslyn Bascombe-Adams, Dr. Brenda Davidson
Dr. Duane D. H. Pit, Dr. Heather Kettenis
Dr. Amy Gutman, Dr. Samantha Price
Dr. Stephen West, Dr. Jonathan Makanjuola
Dr. Richard Fulton, Dr. Matthew Arnold
Dr. Richard Hammond, Dr. Kerry Brislane
Dr. James Cappadonna, Dr. John Gaugain
Dr. Alicia Morris, Dr. Simon Morton
Dr. Andrew Spence, Dr. Charles Swart
Dr. Ayoola O. Oyinloye, Dr. Anna Nielsen-Williams, Dr. Daniele Williams

Dr. David Wakeley, Dr. Monica Hoefert
Dr. Boris Vestweber, Dr. Carla Reese
Dr. Michael Ashton, Dr. Annabel Fountain
Dr. Phillip Bell, Dr. Gordon Kooiman
Dr. Basil Wilson, Dr. Gerard Boonstra
Dr. Cheryl Peek-Ball, Dr. Brent Williams
Dr. Christiane Lippeck, Dr. Deborah Daly
Dr. Akbar Lightbourne, Dr. Shane Marshall
Dr. Peter Maclellan, Dr. Heather Montgomery

Dr. Mandisa Robinson, Dr. TerryLynn Emery
Alyssa Frick, Occupational Therapist
Bruno Teixeira, Physiotherapist
Chloe MacDonald, Registered Dietitian
Dr. Alex Fay, Dentist, Dr. Alexis Mackenzie, Dentist, Dr. Alicia Maybury, Dentist
Dr. Alton Trott, Dr. Ash Syed, Dr. Carl Mackenzie, Dentist, Dr. Carmen Rabain, Dentist, Dr. Christopher Allington, Dentist

Dr. David Samuels, Dentist, Dr. Helen Christopher, Dentist, Dr. Ian Campbell, Dentist
Dr. James Fay, Dentist, Dr. Janie Brown, Dentist, Dr. Kevin Harney, Dentist
Dr. Kiron James, Dentist, Dr. Kyjuan Brown
Dr. Lara Loesher, Dentist, Dr. Len Wedlich, Dentist, Dr. Lorna Hall, Dentist
Dr. Michael Lopez, Dentist
Dr. Murphey Osbourne

Dr. Natalie Burdon-Bruce, Dentist
Dr. Paula Estwick, Dr. Peter Perinchief
Dr. Raymond Swainson, Dentist
Dr. Roddy Moore, Dr. Ronda James, Dentist
Dr. Stephen J. Sherwin, Dr. Steven Cardwell, Dentist, Dr. Takira Hypolite, Dentist
Dr. Tamar Nasqidashvili, Dr. Clyde Wilson
Dr. Yusef Morant-Wade
Alexandra Wilberz, Registered Physiotherapist

Dr. Andrew Jamieson, Dr. Celeste Maycock
Dr. Fara-Jane Sebastian-Buankr
Dr. Htay Myint, Dr. James A. Fay, Dentist
Dr. Jay Dennehy, Dr. Joseph Yammine
Dr. Keith Chiappa, Dr. Keith McKenzie
Dr. Michael Brooks, Dr. Nevin Williams
Dr. Nicole Hart, Dr. Nisrine Atieh

Dr. Peter Babeckas, Dr. Phillip Jones
Dr. Roger Wong, Dr. Sam Mir, Dr. Sein Aung
Dr. Shamaila Shamin, Dr. Wendy Outerbridge
Dr. Michael Hawking, Dr. Angela Marini
Dr. Fermin Gonzalez, Dr. Seb Henagulph, Psychiatrist, Dr Keira Smith, Dentist
Dr Frances Betts, Dentist
Dr. Laura Henagulph, Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Debbie Benson

Craig Brown, Registered Physiotherapist
Kate Kyme, Registered Physiotherapist
Elizabeth Peckett, Registered Physiotherapist
Hannah Jones, Registered Dietitian
Hollie Cornick, Registered Dietitian
Kathleen Mowat, Registered Physiotherapist
Keelin Hankin, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist
Lizzy de Angelis, Registerd Dietitian
Marie Fay, Occupational Therapist
Nicola MacDougall, Registered Physiotherapist

Rose-Anna Hoey, Occupational therapist
Sally Teixeira, Registered Physiotherapist
Sarah Williamson, Registered Dietitian
Shara Crunden, Registered physiotherapist
Stephen Lightbourne,Registered Physiotherapist

Jessica Therrien, Registered Nurse
Nadine Blake, Registered Nurse
Maxine Herbert-Watson, Registered Nurse
Synda Cook-Roberts, Registered Nurse
Sharon Scott-Burchall, Registered Nurse
Jessica Therrien, Registered Nurse
Laura Law, Registered Nurse
Nadine Blake, Registered Nurse
Irena Ashton, Registered Nurse
Hanah Cannon, Registered Dietitian
Barbara McCreight Registered Nurse
Myrian Balitian-Dill, Nurse Practitioner
Yvonne McHugh Registered Nurse
Miriam Hook, Registered Nurse
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