As the fourth wave of the pandemic strikes, the pressure on public hospitals increases, with the number of patients reaching 300. Doctors and nurses are in the same spectator work, as the situation they are experiencing now is the same as last April. , with the difference that then to avoid the worst the country entered a general lockdown. Today, this perspective is at the bottom of the list of measures drawn up by the government to combat the pandemic, with Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas stressing that if necessary, we will proceed with a lockdown. The first and last reason for such a thing is the hospitals, with the specialists being worried, since in the last few days the number of elderly people who are ill and need treatment is increasing. Some of them have even been vaccinated. This raises the question of whether a third dose of vaccine should be given to vulnerable groups, as the debate on vaccinating adolescents aged 12 and over continues, with epidemiologists each expressing their views and the Council of Ministers to be called to decide next Friday.
Under 40 years
In addition to senior citizens and people belonging to vulnerable groups, hospitals are full of younger people. There are currently 38 ICU patients, including a 16-year-old with lung failure, a 22-year-old pregnant woman and a 32-year-old with kidney failure, all three without any previous health problems. A few days ago, the death of a 35-year-old was announced, with experts warning that the Indian mutation has changed the data regarding the disease of younger citizens. According to the scientific director of the Famagusta General Hospital, the youngest patient currently being treated for the virus is 14 years old, with his state of health not being of particular concern, however, a significant percentage of MAF and ICU patients are below 40 years old. 88% of patients have not been vaccinated, and it is worth noting that none of the patients treated in MAF or ICU have received any dose of vaccine.
The trend of stabilization of hospitalizations at high levels, in the last ten days, de facto keeps the hospital infrastructure of providing services to Covid-19 patients on alert. As of today, the hospitality unit for patients with coronavirus at the General Hospital of Paphos is also thrown into battle, with OKYPY expecting a further increase in hospitalizations in the coming days. The small drop in the new cases that are identified daily, as well as the increased interest of the citizens for vaccination, gives hopes for improvement of the situation that prevails in the hospitals. At the same time, a new front is opening up, as the detection of cases in nursing homes may lead us back to what we experienced last November and December, where again the hospitals were full and an average of 2-3 deaths were announced daily. According to OKYPY spokesman Charalambos Charilaou, the median age of patients in recent days has risen to 56.7 years instead of 53 previously, a fact that is directly related to the admission of older people to hospitals. Asked if there were any admissions from people living in nursing homes, Mr. Charilaou said that 4 admissions were made in the last few days, while regarding the people who need hospitalization, Mr. Charilaou explained that 9 out of 10 have not been vaccinated. According to the data published by OKYPY, in terms of hospitalization of citizens over 70 years, while on July 8 12 citizens were hospitalized, on July 27 they reached 52, which raises questions as to whether a third dose should be given. in people who have been vaccinated, since among the 52 there are also vaccinated.
Discussions on the third or boosting vaccine are currently on the ice, as this is not currently included in the WHO and Coreper recommendations to states on pandemic management. At the moment, what is of particular concern to both the members of the epidemiological team and the government is whether the green light should be given to start vaccinating citizens aged 12 and over. Following the approval of the Moderna vaccine by Coreper for citizens aged 12-15, as well as the increase in cases under the age of 18, the members of the epidemiological team discussed the issue at length, both among themselves and in the meeting they had last Monday with the Minister of Health. Three different views have already been expressed on this issue by experts, but it is not yet clear which view the Council of Ministers will adopt. One school of thought says that in the first phase, vaccination of citizens aged 15-16 and children belonging to vulnerable groups may begin, and at a later stage, vaccination of children aged 12 and over may be allowed. The second school of thought promotes the start of vaccination of adolescents from 12 years and older, in order not to create problems in the smooth operation of schools with the start of the new school year. According to the infectious disease specialist Dr. Georgios Petrikkos, since the vaccines are safe for the specific ages, and since there are vaccines for all those who wish to be vaccinated, then there is no reason not to start vaccinations from 12 years and over. In addition, there is a third school of thought, which says that since a large number of citizens over the age of 16 have not been vaccinated, efforts should be focused on increasing the rate of vaccination coverage at these ages. As the member of the epidemiological team Dr. Zoi Dorothea Pana pointed out, the vaccination of adolescents 12-15 years old may start after the beginning of the new school year, since at this time the emphasis should be on citizens over 16 years old. According to the data available to the Ministry of Health, vaccination rates for 16-18 year olds are very low, as so far only 25.7% have received at least one vaccine dose. Until last Monday, those over 18 years of age who were vaccinated with the first dose of a vaccine amounted to 72.2%, while the percentage of the adult population that was vaccinated with both doses is satisfactory (63.5%).
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