On Wednesday, there were 72 Covid patients in intensive care units in the Balearics. | Teresa Ayuga

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According to Paco Albertí, the IB-Salut deputy director of hospital care, some 70% of Covid patients currently being admitted to intensive care units in the Balearics are not vaccinated. The figure fluctuates but is in a range of 60% to 70%.

Albertí is urging people to get vaccinated, as there is greater risk of hospitalisation among those who don't have vaccine protection. He says that people aged 60 to 70 who are not vaccinated have a 20 times higher risk of ending up in ICU. "The vaccine is protecting in an amazing way."

As to why 30-40% of ICU admissions are people who have been vaccinated, he explains that the vast majority of them have comorbidities (two or more diseases).

The age of ICU patients has come down - typically between 40 and 60 - and many of them are not vaccinated. There are, he adds, fewer patients on respirators than previously. This is due to the effects of the vaccine and because Omicron, as has been the experience so far, is less virulent.

Specialist in public health and preventive medicine, Joan Carles March, explains that there are three studies which show that vaccination or previous infection generate cellular immunity against serious Omicron disease (even when the antibodies decline over the months). "Protection against infection declines over the months after the last dose. The fall is different depending on the type of vaccine, but everything suggests that the booster dose should be accelerated because of Omicron."

The vaccines were based on the original Wuhan strain. By the time that Omicron emerged towards the end of 2021, there had been fifty mutations. "Even so, three doses of vaccine manage to protect up to 90% against hospitalisation due to Omicron." "It is essential that the population is vaccinated with the first and second doses and also with the booster dose."