Almost all Covid patients in intensive care are unvaccinated, doctors claim

Doctors say their patience is ‘wearing thin’ with the unvaccinated (Picture: Reuters/Getty/PA)

The head of the Oxford jab programme says almost every Covid-19 patient in intensive care units (ICUs) has not been vaccinated.

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard warned that those who have not had a jab are now virtually the only ones struggling to breathe in the UK.


His intervention comes with various hospital workers expressing similar concerns – with some saying their patience is ‘wearing thin’ with anti-vaxxers and the amount of resources the NHS is spending on people who have not been jabbed.

In a Guardian piece jointly authored Oxford University infectious diseases professor Brian Angus, Sir Andrew wrote: ‘This ongoing horror (of patients fighting for breath), which is taking place across ICUs in Britain, is now largely restricted to unvaccinated people.

‘Generally, Covid-19 is no longer a disease of the vaccinated; vaccines tend to limit its suffocating affliction, with a few exceptions.’

The UK has now administered almost 113 million doses – but uptake of first and second jabs has dropped dramatically, with daily totals for first jabs barely passing 35,000 in nearly two weeks.

While more than 88% of people aged 12 and over have now had a first dose, that leaves millions unprotected – and potentially at risk of serious illness and death.

A nurse works on a patient in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in St George's Hospital in Tooting, south-west London, where the number of intensive care beds for the critically sick has had to be increased from 60 to 120, the vast majority of which are for coronavirus patients.

ICUs are under pressure again this winter (Picture: PA)

Nearly 81% of people have had a second jab and 27% a booster.

Earlier this month, an anaesthetist told about working in intensive care amid the strain from Covid, which he said had left ‘the NHS is teetering on its edge’.

Dr Ed Patrick wrote in an opinion piece: ‘I looked around and realised that almost all of my patients were suffering from Covid-19 – and nearly every one of them was unvaccinated.’

He added: ‘I meet a lot of healthy people who think they’re bulletproof and can’t get taken down by this virus. Many are young – in their 20s, 30s and 40s – yet they’re struggling to breathe, even with lots of oxygen.’

Dr Ed added: ‘Seeing an unvaccinated patient is incredibly frustrating and sad. Frustrating because the vaccine probably would have prevented this, sad because I know what’s likely to be next for them.

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‘I’m guessing that most of my patients would do anything to turn back time and have the vaccine.’

Last week an NHS respiratory consultant told The Guardian: ‘My patience wearing thin… Even if you are not worried about your own risk from Covid, you cannot know the risk of the people into whose faces you may cough; there is a dangerous and selfish element to this that I find hard to stomach.’

The anonymous medic added that most resources being devoted to Covid in hospitals are ‘now being spent on the unvaccinated – who have had months to take up a jab.

A small number of people have been advised not to have a jab for specific health reasons, like allergies to elements of the vaccine. has contacted the Department of Health for comment.

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