COVID-19: Steep rise in hospital admissions among elderly will send shudders through NHS | UK News

The elderly are now beginning to feel the effects of the Omicron wave, which will send shudders through the NHS.

The latest COVID surveillance report from the UK Health Security Agency shows a steep rise in the number of over-85s being admitted to hospital in England.

Hospitalisations in the age group doubled from 62 in every 100,000 in the week leading up to Christmas to 121 in every 100,000 a week later.

Rates were also up sharply in the 75-84s, rising from 28 to 57 per 100,000.

Rates in younger people were lower and rising more slowly.

The figures suggest the surge, which began in young people, has moved up the generations to affect those more vulnerable to serious disease.

The NHS is already feeling the pressure, with several hospitals declaring major incidents. But high case rates and the shifting demographic suggests admissions will rise further in the coming weeks.

The government has placed a big bet on boosters to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed by cases, but the report shows uptake is beginning to slow in every age group.

Rates in the over-70s have almost levelled off at around 90%.

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But stats suggest that in younger patients, the initial enthusiasm for the booster may be starting to wane.

Only a quarter of those under-30 have had the top-up jab, with a smaller rise in the last week than before Christmas.

The slow-down may be due to the festive break, and it remains to be seen whether the prime minister’s plea to people to come forward for boosters results in a rise in jabs in next week’s report.

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