Israel’s Health Ministry reported on Sunday that the vast majority of COVID patients attached to ECMO machines are unvaccinated.
According to the ministry, fully vaccinated patients rarely require ECMOS. Interestingly, one result of that fact is that out of 252 patients attached to EMCOs due to COVID, 212 were under the age of 60, due to the high vaccination rate among Israelis over age 60.
“People who are vaccinated suffer milder symptoms of COVID-19,” chairman of the Israeli ECMO Association, Dr. Yigal Kasif, said. “There is something in the vaccine which prevents the virus from destroying the body’s defenses. It is simple, vaccines work.”
“We spoke of this last year when there were small numbers of vaccinated patients in need of ECMO, but it is even more evident now,” he said. “The most gravely ill need the ECMO machine after their lungs had collapsed.”
“The machine oxidizes the blood in place of the lungs, and its use is a clear indication of the gravity of the illness. During this fifth wave, we haven’t seen the same number of patients that we had in the Delta wave, because more people were vaccinated and because the Omicron variant of COVID-19 settles more in the upper respiratory system and less in the lungs.”
According to the Health Ministry, 18 COVID patients are currently attached to ECMO machines, versus 50 during the Delta wave.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)