WC officials share data on how COVID affects vaccinated, unvaccinated patients

Officils gave insights into the hospitalisations and deaths of people over 60 years at the height of the third wave last month.

FILE: A hospital worker walks amongst patients in the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. The patents in this ward are not critically serious, but do require oxygen and to lie down. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Concerns around COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy remain even as officials are pleased that the rollout programme is open to the wider population.

In the Western Cape, health authorities have been seeking to demonstrate the effectiveness of vaccines by sharing data showing how the virus responds to both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients at hospitals.

“There is absolutely no doubt that vaccines saves lives,” said Western Cape Department of Health's Dr Saadiq Kariem on Thursday.

He gave insights into the hospitalisations and deaths of people over 60 years at the height of the third wave last month.

“This age cohort has the highest vaccine coverage, and therefore, represents a comprehensive and accurate data set,” he said.

Kariem said 729 people in this group required hospitalization, but 96% were not vaccinated.

Only 4% of those vaccinated required hospitalisation. Of the 292 who died due to COVID-19, 98.3% had not been vaccinated.

Data from earlier this week reflected a similar situation on one specific day at Groote Schuur where of the 156 people admitted to hospital, just three were vaccinated.

Sixty-six people were in high care and 32 on ventilators - none of them had received a single jab.

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