Two thirds of COVID-19 patients in ICU unvaccinated confirms Derry health director Paul Cavanagh
Two thirds of COVID-19 patients in intensive care in hospitals across the north last Thursday had not been vaccinated, Paul Cavanagh, Interim Director of Planning and Commissioning for the Health and Social Care Board
The Derry born health chief also confirmed that the age profile of patients being treated for SARS-CoV-2 is now younger than during previous phases of the pandemic.
"That gives you a sense of the issues that we are facing in relation to vaccination and the importance of vaccination as well.
"We also know that some of those patients are a lot younger than they would have been in previous waves so there's a very different demographic we are looking at as well.
"Of 73 patients in critical care 34 are COVID-19 patients and two thirds of those 34 are then unvaccinated," said Mr. Cavanagh.
The HSCB director said that the current wave of COVID-19 arrived two weeks earlier than health experts had expected and the heath service remains under considerable pressure and not just due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Since the last wave passed us in March we've seen really unprecedented pressures within our hospitals and committee members will be well aware of the media attention on our emergency departments, on ambulances queueing and, I suppose, pressures within our EDs and within our hospitals.
"A lot of that has been relating to unscheduled care and we really have been working hard to see if we can progress that and change the position in relation to that but the numbers keep coming and we've reflected on that.
"This is currently in the middle of summer, probably one of the worst winters we have ever seen, and it is in that context I just want to remind members of the pressures that were within our hospitals before this fourth wave approached us."