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By SANews

Tshwane hit hard by Omicron, majority of patients unvaccinated

In the past two weeks, 80% of admissions were below the age of 50.

The majority of patients treated – for Covid in Tshwane public hospitals were unvaccinated.

This is according to a report on the patient profile at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital and Tshwane District Hospital complex.

The two facilities combined workforces to create the complex to manage Sars-CoV-2 patients.

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According to data, of the 38 adults in the Covid wards on 2 December, 24 were unvaccinated, eight had unknown vaccination status and only six had had the jabs.

There has been “sharp rise” in admissions at the two hospitals, with 166 new admissions between
14 and 29 November, the first two weeks of the omicron wave in Tshwane.

Of nine patients who were hospitalised for Covid pneumonia, eight were unvaccinated, including a child.

“Only a single patient on oxygen was fully vaccinated but the oxygen was for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” said the author of the report, Dr Fareed Abdullah, the director of the Office of Aids and TB Research at
the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and a part-time HIV clinician at Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

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The SAMRC has described Tshwane as a global epicentre, where the first cases of the newly discovered omicron outbreak were discovered.

Abdullah said the age profile of the 166 patients differed “markedly” from the previous waves.

In the past two weeks, he said, 80% of admissions were below the age of 50.

“It may be that this is a vaccination effect as 57% of people over the age of 50 have been vaccinated in the province, compared to 34% in the 18 to 49 age group,” Abdullah said.


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