Majority of seriously ill COVID patients have not been fully vaccinated

July 29, 2022 - 07:00
The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases has increased over the last two weeks, with many of them in a serious condition.

People wait for COVID-19 vaccinations in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết

HÀ NỘI — The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases has increased over the last two weeks, with many of them in a serious condition.

Phạm Văn Phúc, deputy head of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) under the hospital, said that the hospital was treating about 70 COVID-19 patients.

Severe patients are treated in the ICU, while those with moderate symptoms are treated on the Virology - Parasitology Ward. Both areas are separated from regular patients.

The ICU is now full of beds to treat patients with COVID-19.

"The ICU has 25 patients, most of them need ventilation and oxygen masks. Most are elderly and have underlying diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchial asthma, cardiovascular disease or HIV," said Phúc.

He added that elderly patients or those with underlying conditions can worsen quickly. The treatment, therefore, was very difficult because it was related to the underlying disease.

Explaining the recent increase, Phúc said that it was because of two main reasons.

Firstly, units treating COVID-19 in different provinces have been gradually closed as the number of cases nationwide declined. As a result, remaining patients were moved to the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Secondly, the third dose of the vaccine was given about six months ago, meaning antibodies provided by the vaccine have decreased. People are now at high risk of re-infection and severe conditions when infected.

Nguyễn Trung Cấp, deputy director of the hospital, said that all COVID-19 patients under treatment had either refused to get the vaccine, or did not receive sufficient booster doses.

Phúc said that the fourth booster dose is important in supplementing people’s resistance.

Booster doses are especially important for high-risk people such as the elderly and people with underlying diseases.

He said a study in Israel conducted on over 182,122 people who were over 60 years old showed that the second booster’s effectiveness was significant.

Protection against COVID-19 of the second booster increased by 45 per cent, effectiveness against re-infection increased by 55 per cent, effectiveness against severe condition increased by 68 per cent, and the risk of death from COVID-19 decreased by 74 per cent.

For the above reasons, vaccines continue to be a very important factor in the prevention and reduction of death for COVID-19, especially with new strains BA. 4 and BA.5.

The Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control said that all people eligible for vaccination living in Hà Nội can go to communes’ and wards’ health stations for instructions and register for booster shots. — VNS