NHS Providers update on COVID hospital situation
NHS Providers have released a statement addressing findings on the protective abilities of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and have warned that the NHS is still facing an extremely challenging period. NHS Providers is the membership organisation for the NHS hospital, mental health, community and ambulance services that treat patients and service users in the NHS. Non-peer reviewed data has been released that found a 67% drop in transmissibility of coronavirus due to vaccination. The data also revealed that the vaccine shows sustained protection of 76% during the 3-month interval until the second dose. Chief Executive of NHS Providers Chris Hopson struck a hopeful note on the findings: “It's fantastic that the latest data shows a single dose of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine protects against COVID-19 while also helping to reduce transmission”. He said that the information was the “good news the NHS has been waiting for”.
NHS Providers commented that there are encouraging signs of this peak of coronavirus having passed, meaning the immediate pressures on the NHS may begin to lessen. "It is really good that infections are falling, with fewer admissions, and the vaccination programme making brilliant headway”, the statement said. However, the organisation cautions against complacency as the NHS continues to struggle with intensive care running at 1.5 times baseline capacity, more than 27,000 COVID-19 patients are in hospital and mutant variants are circulating through communities. The service is extremely stretched at present and the threat from the virus remains “as potent as ever”. There is “very long way to go until we are through this”, warns the release. It calls for restrictions to be loosened only when there are sufficient data that another wave of infections cannot be triggered.