In France, as the 4th wave of Covid-19 intensifies, more and more unvaccinated young people are entering hospital and intensive care, to the dismay of health professionals.
“We are seeing a rejuvenation of hospitalized and intensive care patients.” Tuesday, shortly after having vaccinated Secretary of State Olivia Grégoire at Necker-Enfants Malades hospital in Paris, Olivier Véran spoke about the profile of Covid-19 patients in France.
The Minister of Health notably wished to alert on the increasingly young people who were admitted to the hospital. According to him, “on average, patients admitted to intensive care at this time in France are five years younger than in previous waves”.
Young people “often unvaccinated”
On Twitter, many caregivers and health professionals share the findings and fears of the minister and neurologist. “I am on call again at the SAMU. The calls are already linked, including young unvaccinated patients with suspected Covid-19”, worried Tuesday François-Xavier Moronval, emergency doctor at the Émile Durkheim hospital center in Epinal.
After a night in the emergency room on Saturday, Doctor Adrien Bassand, emergency doctor at the Nancy CHRU (Meurthe-et-Moselle) said he had responded “to his great disappointment” to calls from numerous cases of Covid-19 and the Delta variant, ” young people often “and” unvaccinated “.
“It does not surprise me”, said doctor Jean-Paul Ortiz, this Thursday morning, on BFMTV, before adding: “It is enough to look unfortunately at what happened in the other countries which have been affected by this Delta variant before us. “
“There is a stall between the number of positive cases and the increase in hospitalized patients. But things are starting to move on hospitalizations and resuscitations with younger patients. Because the oldest are vaccinated: at 65, we are over 85% of vaccinated “, detailed the president of the Confederation of French Medical Syndicates.
More young patients in shifts
The impressions of these health professionals are now found in hospital data, as can be seen from the graphics on the CovidTracker site.
As of July 29, of the 1,015 patients in intensive care, 445 are under 60 years old. In detail, there are 6 between 0 and 19 years old, 92 between 20 and 39 years old and 347 between 40 and 59 years old. As for older people, as of July 28, 523 are between 60 and 79 years old and 42 are over 80 years old, or 555 are over 60 years old. The gap is therefore narrowing between young patients and others.
In comparison, mid-January, just after the 2nd wave and while the 3rd is already looming, 2,730 patients are in intensive care. 537 are under 60: 8 between 0 and 19, 57 between 20 and 39, and 472 between 40 and 59. But the older patients are much more numerous than at present: 1842 are between 60 and 70 and 324 over 80 years old.
Now, “50% of patients in intensive care are under 65 years old. There are almost as many patients who are between 15 and 65 years old, as over 70 years old. It shows that the vaccination works”, confirmed Laurent Zieleskiewicz, anesthesiologist -reanimator in Marseille, this Thursday on BFMTV.
In terms of hospitalizations, as of July 29, of the 7,236 patients in the hospital, 2,028 are under 60 years old: 87 between 0 and 19 years old, 510 between 20 and 39 years old and 1,431 between 40 and 59 years old. In addition, among the oldest, 2,975 patients are between 60 and 79 years old and 2,187 over 80 years old, or 5,162 over 60 years old.
In mid-January, 2,950 patients were under 60 years old: 86 between 0 and 19 years old, 566 between 20 and 39 years old and 2,298 between 40 and 59 years old. And here again, the older patients were much more present: 9,637 are between 60 and 79 years old and 12,306 over 80 years old, or 21,943 people over 60 years old.
“It tears my heart apart”
Vaccination was opened late to young people, from June 15, they are proportionally less likely to be vaccinated. The Delta variant therefore has the effect of sending younger people, because they are less vaccinated, to intensive care. And some twitch when health professionals ask them about their vaccination status.
“The tone of the exchange becomes dry. As they are not vaccinated, they are on the defensive. We have the impression of lecturing them, even if we are not going to make them feel guilty,” noted François-Xavier Moronval , nearby Parisian.
The boss of the Soissons emergency department (Aisne) explained on a daily basis that he faces young patients who “ask questions” or others who “emerge from the arguments of opponents” concerning vaccination. “When we discuss with them, if they are not too closed, we realize that they are afraid. They admit being poorly informed and sometimes leave saying that we will have to think about it in the future”, a- he added.
“It tears my heart out,” said Doctor Benjamin Davido, infectious disease specialist at Raymond Poincaré hospital in Garches, Parisian: “Not all are vaccinated, so I yell at them. Some, leaving the hospital, say: ‘Do you think I have to make an appointment? It’s crazy.”
According to the latest data available on the website of the Ministry of Health, dating from July 25, only 2,264,034 people between 18 and 24 years old are fully vaccinated, against 5,334,755 people between 25 and 39 years old, 10,742,264 between 40 and 59 and 14,347,962 over 60 years old.