File photograph of intensive care unit patients in a Malaga hospital. / SUR

Almost 75% of coronavirus patients in Malaga intensive care units have not been Covid jabbed

The average age of those receiving critical care is 50, according to the head of the ICU at the Hospital Clínico in Malaga

ÁNGEL ESCALERA

Almost 75 per cent of patients admitted to intensive care units in Malaga hospitals are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, the medical director of the Hospital Clínico Virgen de la Victoria and head of the intensive care unit has told SUR. And María Antonia Estecha has also revealed that the average age of those receiving care in an ICU is currently 50.

Additionally, she has told this newspaper that the patients who arrive with the complete vaccination schedule are elderly or people with weakened immune systems in whom the number of antibodies has decreased. Recovery is better in the case of those vaccinated against the virus than those that are not, she added.

The average period that patients remain in intensive care is about two weeks, although one person affected by Covid who has spent 70 days in the ICU has recently been discharged from the hospital.

Healthcare pressure

Dr Estecha said that the healthcare pressure that now exists in hospitals due to coronavirus is acceptable both on the wards in the intensive care units, although she admits she does not know what the situation will be like at Christmas.

The medical director stressed the importance of being vaccinated, because "the severity of the disease, if infected, is much less." In this regard, she indicated that at the moment, when the number of positive cases is increasing, in the ICUs there is a little more incidence, but that it is being dealt with well.

Infect four or five times more

Estecha emphasised that unvaccinated people can infect around four or five times more than those who have received Covid jabs. In the case of those people vaccinated, the virus replicates less and therefore, although they can become infected and transmit the coronavirus to others, it does so to a lesser extent, since their viral load is lower. These findings were confirmed by a Pasteur Institute study.

Many public health experts consider that people's refusal to be coronavirus jabbed is a breeding ground to facilitate the circulation of the virus, and point to the wave of infections that is sweeping different European countries, especially in those with a lower vaccination rate.

Three times higher

Meanwhile, the latest report from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) highlights that the current vaccines are achieving the desired effects, since they prevent the disease from causing serious illness or death. The ECDE claims that without the vaccines the number of deaths and hospitalisations would have been three times higher. However, it points out that the effectiveness of the serums, whose effectiveness is around 80 per cent, can be slightly reduced over time, especially in the most vulnerable people, hence the need to inject a third dose.