While much of the UK’s population now desire to go about life as usual, especially since the government declared times were almost back to normal, unfortunately, the unfolding situation informs a starkly different reality for the heavily vaccinated population. While new SARS-CoV-2 cases seem to be headed toward a more stable reality, this may be only because mass testing is on the way out as SARS-CoV-2-associated deaths increase while hospitalizations have absolutely skyrocketed.

While the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) stops sharing breakthrough infection data, some critical media and blogs (deemed anti-vaxxed by the mass media) emphasize that more vaccinated people get infected and hospitalized than the unvaxxed.

Nearly 60% of the UK’s population has received a third booster dose with almost 75% of the population (and nearly all adults) fully vaccinated. Yet hospitalization cases are skyrocketing. 

An unmistakable growth in hospitalization raises concern across the UK as hospitalization rates have been on a steady climb since even before the onset of 2022.

UK COVID-19 Hospitalization by Quarter

Source: Our World in Data

What about COVID-19-related deaths? These are on the upswing as well. 

Source: Our World in Data

Even though Omicron is generally milder, the mutant sub-variant BA.2 now circulates ever more around the UK. A noticeable uptick in deaths has health authorities concerned. 

Public Health Communication Concerns

With mounting hospitalizations and a spiking death toll associated with COVID, the National Health Service (NHS) starts to experience capacity challenges. In fact, the NHS Confederation warned the government that it needed to reconsider the Living with COVID plan, suggesting the ministers risk “abandoning” the NHS if no action is taken.  

Representing health care organizations, the NHS Confederation reports that the government’s messaging that all is back to normal could very much “Mislead the public and discourage them to take steps to reduce transmission, contributing to the very high rates of COVID-19” as reported by the interest group

The organization’s chief executive Matthew Taylor went on the record, “NHS leaders and their teams recognise the need to ‘live with Covid’ as we move towards what the government hopes will become an endemic stage of the pandemic. However, they report a clear disconnect between the Government’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan and the realities they are facing at the NHS front line.”

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