21 January 2022
A report outlining the vaccination status of Islanders admitted to Jersey General Hospital with Clinical COVID between July and December 2021 has been published today.
The report highlights that Islanders who were unvaccinated or only had a single dose were up to 14 times more likely to be admitted to hospital, and up to 30 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care unit (ICU), compared to a person who received 2 or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In this context the term Clinical COVID is used to describe admission to hospital of a patient primarily to treat disease due to COVID-19. A positive test must be received before admission or within 7 days of admission.
In the six-month period between July and December, 88 people aged 40 years and over were admitted to hospital with Clinical COVID, and 35% of these people were then admitted to ICU.
The dominant variant in Jersey for the time period analysed was Delta. While not every case is sequenced, the data shows that Omicron is likely to have only become more prevalent in Jersey during December.
This report further emphasises how important vaccination is in protecting Islanders from severe illness. A patient's COVID status and their vaccination status are private medical information, so the data has been produced in a way that protects individual's identity.
The vaccine status of patients who were admitted to hospital for reasons other than COVID-19, but tested positive on admission (coincidental COVID), have not been included in this report. This is because the patients were not admitted for treatment directly because of COVID-19.
Their incidence of COVID reflects the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community and does not provide information on how important the vaccination is in protecting people from severe illness. The protective effect of vaccination against COVID infection in Jersey is the subject of a previous report.
Minster for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: "Being able to publish this report while maintaining patient confidentiality has been extremely important. The purpose of the report is to answer how important the vaccine is in protecting Islanders from severe illness and being admitted to ICU.
"As the number of patients data used in this report is sufficient, we have been able to publish a report which is balanced in terms of data quality, transparency and patient confidentiality.
"The regularity of future updates on this will be based on how many patients have been admitted. When there is only a small number of cases this can lead to both unreliable information and the chance for small cohorts of patients to be easily identified."
Deputy Medical Officer for Health, Dr Muscat, said: "The report highlights how vaccination works as a defense against developing severe illness in Islanders. The proportion of non-fully vaccinated Islanders (at the time of the study one dose or less) who were admitted with Clinical Covid is much higher than those who had been vaccinated with two or more doses; this shows that the relative risk of being admitted to hospital was between 3.5 to 14.4 times more likely if you only had one dose or are unvaccinated. And the risk of admission to ITU due to very severe infection in unvaccinated individuals is higher still.
"I hope this report serves as another reminder as to why it is important to stay up to date with your vaccination schedule. Vaccination is working to prevent infection and severe illness and helps reduce the pressures on our critical services."
The report can be found here.