Unvaccinated ‘account for 90% of Covid hospital admissions’ at London ICU unit
Professor Rupert Pearse said the vast majority of patients who are well enough to speak have admitted they were “anxious” or unsure what to believe about getting the jab.
Prof Pearse works at The Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, the city which has been the UK epicentre for the spread of the Omicron variant.
“The most common thing they say is: ‘Can I have the vaccine now please?’ But patients cannot have the vaccine until they have recovered. Between 80 and 90% of the patients that we have are unvaccinated,” he told The Sun.
It came as public health experts said the Government could encourage vaccine uptake by publishing statistics on numbers of unvaccinated patients in hospital with Covid.
Dr Chris Papadopoulos, the principal lecturer in public health at the University of Bedfordshire, told the PA news agency current figures are “very, very unclear”.
“It would be very powerful, especially for reducing vaccine hesitancy, if the Government reported on a daily basis the proportion of hospitalisations that were not vaccinated,” he said.
More than 43 million eligible people in the UK have had two doses of the vaccine but millions are yet to receive a single jab.
Dr Papadopoulos said it “stands to reason” that unvaccinated people make up “at least a similar” proportion of hospital cases among Omicron cases as they did with Delta cases earlier in the year.
Referring to Public Health England data which showed 70% of Covid hospital admissions had been for people who had not received a dose in May, he said: “The number is likely to be similar to Delta because Omicron is still quite severe and if you’re not vaccinated, the big difference is that transmissibility is higher so it’s more likely to transmit and impact (you).”
Across England, unvaccinated people are being admitted to wards at up to seven times the rate of those who have received both doses, with the differences varying slightly between age groups, latest Government data shows.
Among those aged 70 to 79, the hospital case rate for vaccinated people was 17.7 per 100,000 as compared with 126.6 per 100,000 among non-vaccinated people, according to figures from UK Health and Security Agency.
The data, based on people with Covid admitted for an overnight stay in a hospital in England in the four weeks to December 12, shows similar trends in other age groups.
For those aged 80 and over, the hospital admission rate was 36.8 per 100,000 among vaccinated people and 180.5 per 100,000 for non-vaccinated people.
For 18 to 29-year-olds with two doses the rate was 2.0 per 100,000, while for their non-vaccinated peers it was 8.4 per 100,000.
There were 757 patients with Covid on ICU ventilators across England on Tuesday, representing 11% of the 6,902 of the country’s overall Covid hospital admissions.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I have been absolutely blown away by the public response to our national mission for everyone to Get Boosted Now.
“It’s a testament to the incredible work of all of our NHS staff and volunteers.
“And I couldn’t be more grateful to people across the country for their community spirit in coming forward to secure vital protection for themselves and their loved ones.”
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