NEWS

Unvaccinated patients a strain on ICUs 

unvaccinated-patients-a-strain-on-icus

A total of 9,864 deaths have so far been recorded over the 14-month period since March last year when Covid-19 started to take a toll in Greece, with the second wave of the pandemic being the deadliest, since authorities have confirmed 4,212 fatalities in the two months of November and December 2020.

According to health authorities, about 96% of patients that died due to complications from the virus had not been vaccinated, and against this backdrop, authorities and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself have reiterated their calls for people to get their shots.

Indicatively, in March and April of this year alone, with the third outbreak of the pandemic in full swing, 3,360 deaths of patients have been recorded, which is quite high considering that the vaccination program has been under way for four months, with priority given to seniors, who are more vulnerable to serious illness and death.

“Deaths from Covid-19 concern patients who are characterized as very serious irreversible cases, and with underlying diseases. The majority of them have not been vaccinated,” said Matina Pagoni, president of the Athens and Piraeus hospital doctors’ association (EINAP), in comments to Kathimerini. 

The number of deaths clearly depends on the stage of the pandemic, she noted, stressing in particular that during this phase “many patients are being admitted; and many are hospitalized in simple beds, a percentage of which – estimated at 8-10% – will need hospitalization in the ICU.”

Last week an average of 480 Covid patients were admitted to hospital per day, while the number of intubated patients in this third wave reached an average of 850 per day, compared to 622 on the worst day of the second pandemic wave.

“We at the hospitals will relax when the vaccinations start proceeding quickly,” Pagoni emphasized, adding that “people should not be afraid and get vaccinated.”

However, trends since April 10 appear more promising as the percentage of 65-69-year-olds who have been vaccinated rose from 50% to 60%. The percentage for the 60-64 age group went from 47% to 55%, while for the 70-74 group it was up from 57% to 61%. The percentage for the 75-79 group reached 80%.

The percentage in the 80-84 group is marginally higher at 65% from 63%, while for those over 85 the percentage rose from 62% to 63%.