The Midlands area interim public health interim director Professor Mike Wade is now calling on the unvaccinated to get jabbed after doctors reported that some patients who have no immunity to Covid-19 are becoming very ill with the milder Omicron variant.
Figures show that around 20 per cent of those eligible have not yet taken their booster. Only a third of under 30-year olds have taken up their booster to date.
Mr Wade, a scientist, said: “With increasing case numbers, we are seeing more people admitted to hospital, and some end up having to undergo intensive care treatment with long stays in hospital. This can be traumatic for the individual and their loved ones. It also continues to put avoidable pressure on our hospitals at this time.
“The numbers speak for themselves. In the Midlands approximately 70 per cent of patients in intensive care in hospital are unvaccinated. The vaccine is our best line of defence, and this includes the all-important booster dose. The region’s NHS and local authority partners are doing all they can to provide clinics for people of all ages, so that everyone eligible can take up the offer of the vaccine.
“We know that specific groups are putting themselves at risk by not taking up the vaccine – including men under 40 and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The vaccines are safe, and they greatly reduce the chance of getting seriously unwell, being hospitalised, or even dying, if you catch Covid-19. That’s why we are urging people to get vaccinated, get boosted, get protected.”
“I thank everybody who has come forward to complete their course of the vaccine and get boosted and to all those colleagues who have worked tirelessly around the clock to make this happen," he added.
In the week to January 17 there were 83,163 cases reported in the West Midlands with a rate of around 1,395 per 100,000.