Inside Covid ward at London hospital as desperate nurses fearing crisis beg you to get jabbed
DESPERATE nurses caring for sick patients in a London hospital's Covid ward have begged Brits to get their jabs.
Stretched medics at King's College Hospital are fearing what is to come in the new year, if people don't get protected and have a more careful Christmas.
They said said while social distancing and wearing masks was important, getting both jabs as well as boosters was the "best thing" people can do to fend off Omicron.
It comes after an expert warned the NHS is "running on vapour at present".
Dr Peter English, Retired Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, said: "Look after your health as much as you can. Try not to get injured or ill.
"[The NHS] will run out of juice very soon. If you need medical or social care in the next few weeks or months, it might not be available."
Nicky Barlow, 30, a critical care sister on the Covid ICU at King's, said they have noticed patients being admitted to hospital with the virus are younger than before.
She said: "We are very stretched from a nursing point of view, we've had lots of sickness due to Covid positive cases and contacts.
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"The nurses are all very tired because they're all having to take on a lot more responsibility than they normally would due to the stretched staffing.
"The majority of Covid patients that are coming in aren't vaccinated.
"All the patients that have had their vaccine seem to have not as bad symptoms. I would [say] get vaccinated. I've been vaccinated, I've had my booster, I would encourage all the staff to have their boosters. I think that's the best thing that we could do."
A booster shot is the best protection against Omicron, with data suggesting it pushes efficacy back up to 75 per cent.
Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive said: “Once again, we urge everyone who is able to get a booster jab to come forward and do so. It is the best defence we have against this highly transmissible new variant."
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The Sun is also urging readers to sign up to the Jabs Army campaign to make the rollout as smooth and fast as possible.
It comes as hospitals in parts of England have reportedly been asked to prep for a "mass casualty" event in the new year.
NHS managers fear around one third of staff could be off sick with Covid, The Independent reports.
It has stoked concern this will come at the same time hospitalisations of Omicron cases start to rise.
More than one in ten doctors are off work, and one in 24 off due to Covid, a report from the Royal College of Physicians found.
In London it increases to one in 13 off sick with Covid.
Dr Laura Jane Smith, 39, is a respiratory consultant in one of the hospital's two wards for Covid patients.
She said: "There's only so much that people can do, but the things that really make a difference is looking after themselves and really thinking hard about getting their vaccinations.
"What we're seeing is that they [the vaccines] do make a huge difference to the severity of disease.
"People might still have some hesitancy and I just advise them to try and make sure they're getting really good information from trusted sources and just rethink to try and protect themselves and their loved ones.
"We all treat everyone the same, unvaccinated, vaccinated or whatever, but we see what a difference it makes, and so we really hope that people could reconsider that decision."
Kate Amy, 26, a labour ward midwife, encouraged those who are waiting to give birth to try and minimise contact with others before having their babies.
"We're here to care for you, Covid or no Covid. We're still here, we're still committed. Birth is always a wonderful thing, no matter what form it comes in," she said.
"If you are able to minimise contacts that will be brilliant to keep you safe and to keep staff members safe. But overall, no matter what, we're here to care for you and we'll keep you safe."
Dr Tom Best, 53, a consultant in the critical care unit at King's College, said he hoped people have a better understanding of how they can end up catching Covid.
"I think people do need to know and people do know the potential consequences and how dangerous and beastly this virus can be," he said.
"I think we just have to look after each other, protect ourselves and look after those around us that are more vulnerable. That's the thing we can do for the Christmas holidays."
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