New South Wales in Australia has recorded more fully vaccinated COVID patients compared to their unvaccinated counterparts. The state is now grappling with an Omicron outbreak, which resulted in a major spike in COVID cases.
According to data from the NSW government's COVID-19 Critical Intelligence Unit, up to 68.9% of COVID patients aged 12 and above who were hospitalized had two doses of the vaccine, while 28.8% of hospitalized patients were unvaccinated. For the first time, the Australian state has had more fully vaccinated patients hospitalized for COVID compared to unvaccinated patients who were hospitalized for the same reasons.
Moreover, the number of fully vaccinated individuals in intensive care units (ICUs) are also more than the number of those unvaccinated individuals. 50.3% of vaccinated patients are currently in the ICU for COVID, compared to 49.1% of COVID patients who are also in the ICU, The Epoch Times reported.
Data presented however showed that unvaccinated COVID patients were six times more likely to be hospitalized and up to 13 times more likely to be sent to the ICU compared to fully vaccinated individuals. This is despite the fact that the number of unvaccinated patients seem over-represented in the figures.
According to data, 7.3% of the NSW population aged 12 and older at the time were unvaccinated, but made up half of the ICU patients who had COVID in the NSW Health system. Australia is one of many countries that refuse the use of alternative COVID treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
As per NSW Health, 95.1% of all individuals aged 16 or older in the state have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, while 93.7 have been fully vaccinated as of January 11. The surge in hospitalizations among the fully vaccinated comes as the Omicron variant of COVID had spread all over the world and along with the decline in efficacy of the COVID shots administered last year.
An NSW Health spokesperson explained that the Omicron variant has become the more dominant variant spreading in the Australian state, but appeared to be less dangerous than Delta. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday that Australia must "push through" the Omicron outbreak just as the country's total number of COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic breached one million, Al Jazeera reported.
"Omicron is a gear change and we have to push through," Morrison said during a briefing in the capital of Canberra. "You've got two choices here: you can push through or you can lock down. We are for pushing through."
In Perth, citizens have been trying to make vaccine bookings following Premier Mark McGowan's announcement that the state of Western Australia will be subjected to the strictest rules for the unvaccinated beginning January 31, ABC News reported. WA citizens will be required to show proof of full vaccination for "all hospitality venues, gyms, large events, bottle shops, and for visitors to hospitals and aged care" at the end of January.