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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

One in five Covid patients in hospital are aged 18 to 34, new NHS chief warns

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ONE in five people hospitalised with Covid are between 18 and 34 years old, an NHS boss has warned.

Amanda Pritchard, the new NHS chief executive, urged youngsters to get their vaccines in light of the data.

People aged 18 to 34 are being warned they make up one fifth of Covid hospital admissions


People aged 18 to 34 are being warned they make up one fifth of Covid hospital admissionsCredit: i-Images

She said there is “no doubt” that the jabs rollout is having a “major impact” in keeping people out of hospital and saving lives.

NHS England said patients aged 18-34 made up more than 20 per cent of those admitted to hospital last month.

It’s significantly higher than the 5.4 per cent, close to one in 20, at the peak of the winter wave in January.

The change in trend reflects that the majority of people in the older age brackets have had two doses of their vaccine.

Under-30s only became eligible for the Covid vaccine in June.

Around one third under 30 in England are still yet to get a single vaccine dose.

Ms Pritchard, who visited a vaccination clinic in Reigate, Surrey, on Wednesday, said: “Almost nine in 10 adults have had their first Covid-19 vaccination and more than 32 million have now had both jabs as part of the biggest and most successful vaccination drive in health service history.

“There is no doubt that the NHS vaccination programme is having a major impact, keeping around 52,000 people out of hospital and saving an estimated 60,000 lives.

Amanda Pritchard is the new NHS chief executive. She urged youngsters to get their vaccines


Amanda Pritchard is the new NHS chief executive. She urged youngsters to get their vaccinesCredit: Avalon.red

“However, we must not forget that there are more than 5,000 people who are seriously ill in hospital with Covid, and more than a fifth of those admitted are young people.”

She urged people to “not delay sorting your jab”, saying the NHS is making it “as easy as possible to protect yourself, your family and your friends”.

There are pop-up clinics and walk-in sites bolstering the 1,600 permanent sites already in place, from theme parks to mosques and beachfronts. 

Ms Pritchard told the BBC that about 1,000 young adults are currently “really unwell” in hospital.

She said of the lower number of older patients: “It shows how effective the vaccine programme has been in protecting people, stopping them needing hospitalisation, keeping them safe.”

Ms Pritchard warned that young people who have not been jabbed could become seriously ill, adding, they “are not immune and the best way they can protect themselves absolutely is to get that vaccine if they haven’t already”.

But she said it was “encouraging” that more than 250,000 adults aged under 30 have come forward for their first or second dose in the past week.

Meanwhile, people aged 16 and 17 have been told they should now get the Covid vaccine.

The Government announced it would be inviting them for their jabs after advice from the expert panel, the JCVI.

Professor Jonathan Van Tam said it was “more likely than less likely” that the vaccine programme would be extended to those aged 12 to 15 years old in the near future.

But experts want to review more safety data first. 

Up until now only over-12s with underlying conditions or those who live with others at high risk have been told to come forward for a jab. 

Sage expert Professor Calum Semple says nearly all Covid hospital patients are unvaccinated and there are a lot of organ injuries

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