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'Most covid patients in Leicestershire and Lincolnshire intensive care beds are unvaccinated'

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The number of people with covid in Leicester’s hospitals doubled between Christmas Day and the new year, and Lincolnshire's hospitals were put on their highest level of alert.

With unvaccinated covid patients filling intensive care beds, people needing cancer operations and other critical surgery are having to be delayed, health bosses have warned.

Richard Mitchell, chief executive of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said: “Every known medical condition is made worse by covid, yet we still have unvaccinated people in our communities.

People do not need to make an appointment for a jab
People do not need to make an appointment for a jab

“The majority of our hospital intensive care beds are taken by covid patients. Over 75 per cent are unvaccinated; some will not make it home.

“This is having a big impact on our colleagues and on patients waiting for cancer and cardiac surgery who require an intensive care bed to have their operation."

He added: “Getting your jab is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others.”

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust says it is currently experiencing a situation once known as Black Alert, but is now Operational Pressures Escalation Levels Framework (OPEL) level four.

The trust, which runs Grantham Hospital, currently has 63 covid inpatients.

There was a surge in vaccine uptake over Christmas and on Christmas Day and Boxing Day more people had the vaccine in the Leicestershire and Rutland healthcare area than anywhere else in the Midlands. Despite this, many people are still overdue a vaccine dose.

By the end of the year, 16 per cent of over 18s had not had their first vaccine dose, and 34 per cent of

those aged 16 to 17 had not. Just over half of children aged 12 to 15 are unvaccinated in the area.

Andy Williams, chief executive of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “I urge everyone to just get their vaccine – it’s not too late for even a first dose.

"It’s the best New Year’s resolution you could make, so if you have been putting it off for any reason, please get the vaccine now.”

Walk-in vaccination clinics are being held at Oakham Enterprise Park in Ashwell Road, Oakham (LE15 7TU) daily from Tuesday (January 4) to Saturday (January 8) inclusive, between 9.30am and 6pm.

Next Friday (January 7) walk-in first dose, second dose and booster jabs will be available at Stamford Arts Centre in St Mary's Street, Stamford, between 10am and 4pm. Those eligible include 12 to 15 year-olds provided a parent/guardian is present to consent.

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