COVID positive but not fully vaccinated? Then you're more likely to land in ICUs, HDUs

Among the 57 admissions in HDUs, 43 have been unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, while of the 51 ICU admissions, 48 were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated

Published: 01st October 2021 03:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2021 03:02 PM   |  A+A-

A man gets his Covid-19 vaccine inside a shop in Bengaluru on Wednesday | shriram bn

Express News Service

BENGALURU: According to data from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for the past 14 days, around 75% of COVID-19 patients landing in High Dependency Units (HDU) and 78.5% in Intensive Care Units (ICU) of hospitals were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

Among the 57 admissions in HDUs, 43 have been unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, while of the 51 ICU admissions, 40 were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

BBMP officials said the message is that those who are not vaccinated tend to get more severely infected. "The message is straight -- one needs to get vaccinated to avoid getting into a severe stage. The idea is to vaccinate the entire population. We have been carrying out awareness on the same. Those who are still not vaccinated are asked to take their vaccinations. We are also going to carry out door to door vaccination to cover the eligible population and are even reaching out to slum areas," said Randeep D, Special Commissioner (Health), BBMP.

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While most of the patients landing in HDUs and ICUs were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, some who were fully vaccinated have also been admitted to ICUs and HDUs.

Among those admitted to ICUs, around 11 were fully vaccinated individuals, constituting 21.5% of the total number, while of the 57 patients admitted to HDUs, 14 (25%) were fully vaccinated.

However, experts pointed out that the small numbers of admissions of fully vaccinated individuals is not a concern and the public has to focus on getting both their shots on time and not delaying it any further.

Dr Anoop Amarnath, a member of the state's Critical Care Support Team (CCST) and Head, Scientific Board and Chairman-Geriatric Medicine, Manipal Hospitals, said, "Firstly in order to calculate vaccinated cases in ICUs, we would need to take the vaccinated ICU admissions as a fraction of the total active cases in the district. That would be the ideal reflection of vaccinated cases requiring ICU admissions. This is usually around 1%. Secondly, the ones who are admitted with both the doses are the cases that are usually the ones with multiple or severe comorbid illnesses. And thirdly, the time duration between the second dose of vaccine and hospitalisation is also something that needs to be looked into as the optimum protection is gained about 2 to 3 weeks past the second dose."

Dr Giridhar Babu, epidemiologist from the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and member of States Technical Advisory Committee(TAC), said, "The number of fully vaccinated people admitted to ICUs is very small compared to the crores of vaccinations done so far in the state. Getting both the doses of vaccines does bring down the severity and provides protection from death and severity. A very minor proportion might still end up in the ICU, if a patient is immunocompromised. Breakthrough infections can happen after one dose and even two doses and most of them are asymptomatic."

Meanwhile, Randeep stated that they are checking the age and comorbidities of the fully vaccinated individuals and the time of their infection from the second dose. "This is something we are analysing to find the cause. So far there have no been no deaths among those who have taken both their doses."

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