The sixth wave continues to grow in the province of Alicante with no signs of the curve flattening out. The cumulative incidence is already at very similar levels to those that we saw last year, but there is a difference. Despite there being a similar number of infections, the vaccine has ensured that the number of people who are currently hospitalised is significantly lower than in 2020.
Data released by the Ministry of Health, the latest available figures, show that only 3.7% of ICU beds in the province are occupied by covid patients. A year ago, during the same period, this figure was 8.2%.
The situation is also very similar in the hospital wards where, currently patients with coronavirus occupy 12.2% of beds in hospitals. At the same time last year that figure was 26.1%.
In general terms, it would seem that vaccination against the coronavirus has significantly reduced the percentage of patients who become infected and who end up being hospitalised. If a year ago the number of covid patients in hospital was 8%, at the moment that proportion is 4.7%, according to the reports from the Carlos III Health Institute.
If the data is analysed by age, the gap is more evident, according to Esperanza Merino, head of the Infectious Diseases Unit of the General Hospital of Alicante, who explains that among those over 60 years of age the numbers of those infected has fallen from 20 % last year to just 5% now.
In the Alicante General several studies are underway to measure the effectiveness of the vaccine amongst different population groups. One of them focusses on health personnel. “The vaccine has been shown to protect against hospitalisation and serious illness. In fact, of the health workers who have been infected despite being vaccinated, none of them have been admitted to the hospital”, according to Merino.
He also confirmed that, at levels of virus infections similar to those of last year, the incidence in those over 65 years of age is significantly lower. For example, in the case of the incidence at 14 days, last year it was 226 and this year it is 162, which means that the spread of the virus among the elderly is significantly less.