Scotland’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate is the highest in over a year as a surge of infections driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of concern as well as its sub-variant BA.2 also more easily evades vaccine antibodies leading to not only more breakthrough infections but also hospitalizations.  COVID-19-associated deaths have generally been up as well. This is even though Scotland is one of the most boosted nations worldwide.

A heavily vaccinated nation, approximately 76.5% of the entire population is categorized as fully vaccinated. Moreover, the Scots are one of the most boosted populations in the world: 63.3% of the population has received a third jab. That compares to approximately 56.4% boosted in Israel and just under 30% in the United States.

So, what’s happening with what is in fact one of the most boosted countries in the world?  A raging surge of new infections. Since the late December 2021 new COVID-19 cases have continued to surge and that has now led to a serious hospitalization problem.

Reviewing COVID-19 infection data in Scotland the graph depicts the significant surges in infections associated with the most recent introduction of the Omicron variant.   Although more transmissible, Omicron generally has had a milder impact yet due to the sheer volume of cases hospitalizations can and in fact do rise here despite high vaccination rates.Subscribe to the Trialsitenews “COVID-19” ChannelNo spam – we promise

*Source: COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center fro Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University

While most of the population is not only fully vaccinated but also boosted, an unfortunate increase in deaths could lead some to consider this a disturbing situation—see the graph below. 

*Source: COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University

Moreover as reported recently by The Scotsman now more people are hospitalized with COVID-19 than during the peak of the Omicron wave.

TrialSite reported last month that Public Health Scotland was now actually withholding COVID-19 vaccine data including deaths due to the concern that so-called “anti-vaxxers” would misuse this data. 

This media dedicated to open and transparent health and biomedical research raised concerns.

Public Health Scotland’s latest report (March 9, 2022) shared the reinfection rate:  by March 6, 2022 9.3% or 5,239 of the weeks cases were classified as reinfections.

The public health agency report validated the increase in hospitalizations (see chart below) but also noted COVID-19 patients’ admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) decreased.  A great majority of those COVID-19 patients hospitalized were 80 years of age and above and fully vaccinated and/or boosted.

Acknowledging pervasive breakthrough infections and hospitalizations, Public Health Scotland declared “the current evidence suggests that you may test positive for COVID-19, or be reinfected even if you are vaccinated, especially since the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK.”

Declaring that vaccination helps reduce the risk of severe COVID-19,  the agency notes “but some people will still get sick because no vaccine is 100%.  The agency acknowledges the elderly are still at risk for hospitalization and death even if fully vaccinated—but less of a risk than if not vaccinated.

The agency raises the specter of the growing presence of the sub-variant BA.2—one that TrialSite suggested could be classified as a variant by itself due to the number of mutations.

Public Health Scotland concludes that overall, the data suggests vaccine effectiveness evidence compels as many people as possible to ensure they receive a booster dose.

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