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Keep up to date with the latest news, research and activity in patient safety

Long Covid: nearly 2m days lost in NHS staff absences in England

NHS trusts in England lost nearly 2m days in staff absences due to long Covid in the first 18 months of the pandemic, according to figures that reveal the hidden burden of ongoing illness in the health service.

MPs on the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on coronavirus estimate that more than 1.82m days were lost to healthcare workers with long Covid from March 2020 to September 2021 across England’s 219 NHS trusts.

The estimate is based on data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from 70 NHS trusts and does not include the impact of the highly transmissible Omicron variant that has fulled record-breaking waves of infection in the UK and globally since it was first detected in November.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP who chairs the APPG, said the government had paid “almost no attention to long Covid and the severe impact it was having on vital public services” and called for immediate support for those affected.

“Thousands of frontline workers are now living with an often debilitating condition after being exposed to the virus while protecting this country,” she said. “They cannot now be abandoned.”

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Source: The Guardian, 24 January 2022

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Unvaccinated seniors 49 times more likely to be hospitalised than those with boosters – CDC

New data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that unvaccinated adults infected with Covid-19 who are 65 and older are 49 times more likely to need hospitalisation compared to those who have received booster doses.

The CDC also found that in December, unvaccinated adults in that same age group experienced a rate of Covid-related hospitalisation 17 times higher than those who are fully vaccinated.

For unvaccinated adults between 50 and 64, they are 44 times more likely to require hospitalisation compared with those who are immunised.

In that same age group, unvaccinated adults were also 17 times more likely to experience Covid-related hospitalisation.

According to the CDC, adults who are 65 and older and have received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine showed a 94% reduced risk of Covid-related hospitalisations.

“Getting very sick means that older adults with Covid-19 might need hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they might even die. The risk increases for people in their 50s and increases in 60s, 70s, and 80s. People 85 and older are the most likely to get very sick,” the CDC said on its website.

“Get vaccinated as soon as possible,” the agency added.

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Source: The Guardian, 21 January 2022

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