A majority of patients currently being treated in the hospitals’ intensive care units (ICUs) were unvaccinated and a big chunk of them was in the age group of below 45 years, stated treating doctors. The ICU admission trend coincided with the lowest vaccination numbers in the below-45 age bracket and underlined the importance to hasten Covid immunization in this young, productive, and highly mobile category, experts stressed.
Noble Hospital’s infectious diseases expert Ameet Dravid said, “From August, we have treated 52 Covid patients in our hospital’s ICU. Of them, 31 patients (approximately 60%) were unvaccinated against Covid-19.”
Among the rest of the 21 Covid patients in the hospital’s ICU, a total of 10 had taken a single dose of Covid vaccine and 11 had taken both doses, Dravid said.
Twenty-one of the 52 ICU patients (40%) were below 45 years of age. Of the remaining 31 ICU patients, as many as 18 were above 60 years and 13 were in the 46-60 years age bracket.
“Our analysis of the hospital-based data revealed that the current ICU admission trend of Covid patients was driven by those who have not yet opted for vaccination. We shall continue to see the impact of Covid among the unvaccinated and it is primarily among them that we see the majority of severe illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths,” Dravid said.
“The vaccine is really protective in terms of avoiding hospitalization or death, and a majority of people we are seeing that are sick and ending up hospitalized and on ventilators, are unvaccinated patients,” he added.
Noble Hospital in Hadapsar is the first point of referral for hospitals in rural parts of Pune and adjoining districts like Ahmednagar and Solapur because of its easy-to-approach location. “That’s also the reason why we have more patients in Covid ICU than most other hospitals in the heart of the city,” Dravid said.
At Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, a total of 12 Covid patients are undergoing treatment in ICU. Of them, six are unvaccinated. “All those unvaccinated are below 45 years,” said the hospital’s chief intensivist Prasad Rajhans.
Rekha Dubey, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital in Chinchwad, said, “It is very sad to see young and unvaccinated adults seeking care for Covid when a potent protection against Covid-19 is available and is given free at many centres.”
Only six of the 32 Covid patients admitted at Sahyadri Hospital’s ICU in the last few days were vaccinated. “Of them, two were fully vaccinated and four had taken a single shot. The rest 26 were unvaccinated,” said the hospital’s chief operating officer, Abrarali Dalal.
Physician Aniket Joshi, an ICU consultant at 10 different private hospitals in the core city areas, said, “Currently, we are getting sporadic Covid patients who need ICU care. It is true that a sizable number of mild or moderately ill Covid patients we see are unvaccinated. Overall, Covid cases from the city areas are very few.”
Joshi is visiting ICU consultant at Poona Hospital, Pune Cantonment Board-run Sardar Vallabbhai Patel General Hospital, Tarachand Hospital, ONP Meera Hospital and Alliance Hospital, among others.
Loni-Kalbhor based Visharaj Hospital’s chief intensivist Kapil Borawake said, “It is my observation that those who need hospitalisation are most often unvaccinated or partially vaccinated or have got the first shot recently and this has not allowed enough time for the body to mount the adequate immune response against the contagion.”
Pune Municipal Corporation’s nodal officer for Covid, Sanjeev Wavare, said, “We shall take up the analysis of the data of Covid patients on oxygen therapy and in ICU in terms of their vaccination status. The overall observation is that more unvaccinated people are seeking care than those vaccinated.”