Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

The latest figures on bed occupancy showed 825 out of 3,480 patients in intensive care beds across England had Covid – with most of these people unvaccinated

The figures have come out as the UK begins to grapple with the 'worst ever' Omicron variant
The figures have come out as the UK begins to grapple with the ‘worst ever’ Omicron variant (

Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Unvaccinated Covid patients are occupying hundreds of intensive care beds that could be used for life-saving surgery, one of NHS England’s top officials has said.

Figures on bed occupancy on Friday morning showed 825 out of 3,480 patients in intensive care beds across England had Covid, with most of these patients remaining unvaccinated.

It comes as the UK’s daily Covid cases have surged above 50,000 again and two cases of the “worst ever” Omicron variant have been identified in the UK.

The individuals and their households were ordered into self-isolation and targeted testing was being carried out in areas where they are thought to have been infectious

Professor Stephen Powis, the national medical director of NHS England, said: “The vaccine is safe, effective and proven to reduce deaths, hospitalisations and infections and, in fact, data shows that the overwhelming majority of people admitted to intensive care with Covid are not fully vaccinated.

The UK’s daily Covid cases have recently surged above 50,000 again
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Image:

Getty Images)

“Since July one in four critical beds have been consistently occupied by a Covid patient, with the latest statistics available showing three quarters of them are unvaccinated.

“These are beds that would have historically been used to provide life-saving surgeries for the most seriously ill patients.”

Though vaccination does not prevent one from infection, with more than 5,000 people having required hospital treatment for Covid in the past month despite having received both doses, the odds are overwhelmingly in favour of those who have had jabs.

According to the Times, emergency admission rates among unvaccinated people in their seventies was nearly four times higher than among those who have had two injections.

In the younger age bracket across those in their fifties, death rates were close to six times higher among the unvaccinated than the double-jabbed.

An unvaccinated person in their 40s was as likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid as a vaccinated 70 to 79-year-old.

Death rates in patients in their 60s were close to six times higher among the unvaccinated than the double-jabbed
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Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

And someone in their fifties who had not been vaccinated had the same level of risk of someone in their 80s with two doses.

While many people had been slow to take up the offer of the vaccine, they continued to gradually arrive at centres

Some 270,000 adults had their first Covid vaccine last month, many months after the programme first opened.

Around 30,000 of these late-starters were over the age of fifty.

Close to a year since vaccination was approved for their age group, at least 2,445 over-eighties had their first jab.

About 128,000 over-80s were yet to come forward to get their vaccinations.

Linda Bauld, professor of public health at Edinburgh University, said she didn’t think it was well enough understood that vaccination was an “evergreen offer”.

Powis added: “Getting the jab makes a huge difference and will reduce the chance of hospitalisation and death this winter. The public can play a huge role to help us.”

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