Low Eastern vaccination rates take a toll on the ICU

Texas News Today

Bucharest – In the intensive care unit for coronavirus patients in Bucharest, Romania, 55-year-old Adrian Pica sits on a bed and is receiving oxygen to help him breathe. “I was scared and didn’t want to get vaccinated,” he said.

About 72% of adults in the European Union in 27 countries have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, but more infectious delta mutations in hospitals in some Eastern European countries have led to an increase in infections. There is a danger of overwhelm. ..

“Until now I didn’t believe in COVID-19,” Pika told The Associated Press, his initial symptoms leaving him sweating and choking. “I thought it was like the flu. But now I’m hospitalized because of illness. I have to get vaccinated.”

Bulgaria and Romania lag behind as the two least vaccinated countries in the European Union, with only 22% and 33% of the adult population fully vaccinated. The rapidly rising number of new infections has forced authorities to tighten virus controls in both countries, but all other EU countries, such as France, Spain, Denmark and Portugal, have 80% vaccine coverage. In addition, the rules have been relaxed.

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EU Health Commissioner Stella Kiriakides said the “concerning gap” in vaccination needed to be addressed urgently. Slovakia, Croatia and Latvia vaccinate about 50% of adults. However, jab uptake is weakening or decreasing in many Central and Eastern European countries.

In Norway, which has about 70% vaccination, officials lifted restrictions in what Prime Minister Erna Holberg called “the strictest measure in peacetime” on Saturday. Scandinavian neighbor Denmark lifted virus restrictions on 10 September, but Britain also waived most pandemic restrictions due to high vaccination rates.

In contrast, at the Marius Nasta Respiratory Institute in Bucharest, ICU doctor Genov Bakader said the bed is currently 100% full and that about 98% of all viral patients have not been vaccinated. It says

“People are arriving with more serious illnesses than in the previous wave,” she said, adding that many patients in this recent surge are younger than their predecessors. “It tends to be intubated very quickly – and the prognosis is very bleak.”

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New daily coronavirus infections rose sharply last month in Romania, a country of 19 million people, but vaccine intake remains worryingly low. According to government figures, 91.5% of deaths from COVID-19 in Romania between 18-23 September were not vaccinated.

On Sunday, out of 1,239 ICU beds for Romanian virus patients, 1,220 were occupied. In many cases, only death left the ICU bed. At the Marius Nastya Institute, the mobile ICU on the hospital grounds remains empty because there is not enough medical staff to staff.

“I don’t know how to go into the next period, but I’m sure I’ll be here,” hospital manager Beatrice Marler told the AP. “We’re going to do as much as we can[but]we don’t have a recipe to win.”

Romanian public health expert Vlad Mixic told the AP that “historic mistrust of the authorities” and a very weak government vaccination campaign have helped drive down vaccination rates for his compatriots. Rice field.

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“Unfortunately, politicians were the main communicators during the vaccination campaign,” he said, adding that frequent changes in the state’s health minister had a major impact on efforts to vaccinate Romanians.

According to the Eurobarometer survey, in neighboring Bulgaria, 23% of people said they do not want to be vaccinated, but only 9% of the entire bloc.

Savira Marinova, the ICU manager of a hospital in the northern Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo, tells WebMD that none of the COVID-19 patients have been vaccinated.

“We are so exhausted. This terror seems endless,” she said.

Andrey Baschiu, vice-chairman of the Romanian National Vaccination Commission, said that fake news was an important factor in preventing people from being attacked.

“There was a culture of promoting fake news, and we are working with a team of experts to fight the cause of low vaccination rates (communicable diseases). There are many,” he said, adding that the government aims to increase the capacity of ICUs. Is.

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Health care workers in Eastern Europe may face additional risks. In September, a group against vaccines attacked a medical team at a mobile vaccination station in the Bulgarian port city of Varna. Health Minister Stoiko Katsarov accused her of “disrespecting our doctors, harassing the public and not allowing her to be humiliated” in an effort to save lives.

The implementation of a vaccine passport, which allows people to show their vaccine status and carry out their daily activities, could be one of the few options left for the European government to respond to citizens who are hesitant about vaccines. The way to recommend is lost. Perhaps.

Experts say vaccine skeptics in parts of Europe could hinder continent-wide efforts to end the pandemic.

Returning to the Marius Nastya Institute, Nicoletta Birtia, a 63-year-old unrelated COVID-19 patient who had previously had health problems, woke up a month earlier, felt dizzy and sick, and had an ambulance. It is called called.

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“I hope I get here on time,” she said, “I understand very clearly that vaccines can’t protect you.”

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Follow all AP stories about the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

Copyright 2021 AP Communications. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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