Although Covid restrictions have been lifted in Scotland and the success of the vaccination programme means that the severity of the illness – for most people- has declined – the virus is still very much present in our communities. Tracking it, however, is mostly impossible due to the lack of reliable data. What we do have are the number of people being hospitalised. This continues to affect our health service because Covid patients require to be isolated. People are also still dying from the dreadful toll the virus takes upon the body.
The latest publication from Public Health Scotland (15th of May 2023) is as follows:
It is important to monitor COVID-19 hospital admissions as it is a measure of severe disease and captures pressures facing NHS hospitals.
In the latest week ending 14 May 2023, there were 146 new COVID-19 admissions to hospital. Hospital admissions for the most recent week are provisional and should be treated with caution. At the time of publication there were no data available for one NHS Health Board, and the previous week’s figures have been rolled forward.
There were 13 COVID-19 admissions (1.3%) per 1,000 emergency admissions. In the same week, the 80+ age group had the highest rate of COVID-19 admissions (2.4%) and the 18- 29 age group had the lowest rate (0.1%).
Due to changes to the national guidance for the infection prevention and control (IPC) precautions for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, PHS updated the definition for COVID-19 hospital occupancy (recently confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospital).
From 08 May 2023, this measure reduced the maximum number of days a patient will be categorised as a COVID-19 inpatient from 28 days to 10 days. These patients may still be treated in hospital for other reasons beyond 10 days but not considered infectious for COVID-19.
In the most recent week ending 14 May 2023, on average there were 235 patients in hospital with COVID-19. There were 6 new admissions to ICU, a decrease of 4 from the previous week (07 May 2023) when there were 10 admissions.
During the current spring vaccination programme, a total of 332,619 COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to adults currently resident in Scotland.
In the latest week ending 14 May 2023, 50,848 COVID-19 vaccines were administered. 86.2% of care home residents for older adults have been vaccinated.
Globally, as of 5:43pm CEST, 17 May 2023, there have been 766,440,796 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 6,932,591 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 16 May 2023, a total of 13,352,935,288 vaccine doses have been administered.
Globally, nearly 2.6 million new cases and over 17 000 deaths were reported in the last 28 days (17 April to 14 May 2023), a decrease of 14% and 26%, respectively, compared to the previous 28 days (20 March to 16 April 2023). The situation is mixed at regional levels, with increases in reported cases seen in the South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions and increases in deaths in South-East Asia. As of 14 May 2023, over 766 million confirmed cases and over 6.9 million deaths have been reported globally.WHO update 18th May 2023
Meanwhile, while the world pretends it’s gone away….
Let’s just hope the (Scottish and UK) governments are aware of a (rather probable) need to plan ahead for autumn/winter 2023 with new adapted vaccines because this virus remains to evolve (https://www.who.int/news/item/18-05-2023-statement-on-the-antigen-composition-of-covid-19-vaccines).
The continued increase in eligibility restrictions (https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine + https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccines-youre-eligible-for) is also a sign that the Scottish government is either financially in dire straits and/or has not yet realised that the costs to society and economy could be disproportionately higher if not everyone, irrespectively of individual risk status, is being offered a vaccine.
Vaccination “campaigns” have the disadvantage of being too unflexible, time limited and require very different vaccine supply mechanisms than integrating regularly updated Covid vaccines simply in ordinary routine vaccination schedules which exist for a range of other diseases where supply of vaccines is being routinely planned for as day-to-day business.
There are actually some European countries where people can come forward for any vaccine (including Covid) at any time and if their GP thinks it is appropriate, they will get it. There is also a private option in addition.
In Scotland: sorry, mate, statistically speaking you are not at a higher risk, you could still end up long term economically inactive (or worse…) with all associated idividual, societal and economical implications, but our campaign has ended and you are no longer eligible because we could save a few quid if we don’t offer it to you, tough luck…