Most patients in critical care beds at hospitals run by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
It comes as hospitals in Greater Manchester face their ‘most pressured’ period of the pandemic amid a rising infection rate which has led to staff shortages and postponement of some non-urgent procedures.
However, sickness absence among health and social care staff in the city has started to fall in the last few days thanks to the recent change in testing policy.
But Manchester’s director of public health David Regan told a health scrutiny committee on Wednesday (12 January) that the situation is still challenging.
He said: “Compared to previous waves, in terms of hospital pressures, this has been as bad as any because in previous lockdowns where the hospitals just focused on Covid, they’re still trying to juggle all the other things they have to do.”
Care homes have also seen an increase in cases among staff with the booster programme credited for protecting residents who rarely require hospital care.
But Mr Regan said that isolating staff are starting to return to care homes too.
The number of deaths caused by Covid has remained relatively stable during this fifth wave of the pandemic, with fewer excess deaths at the end of 2021.
It comes after a sharp rise in the infection rate caused by the Omicron variant which is now estimated to account for almost 100% of Covid cases in Manchester.
The director of public health also shared data with councillors about hospital admissions from November when Delta was the dominant variant in the city.
He revealed that among older age groups, hospital admissions for people who were not vaccinated were three to four times higher than those who had been.
The number of unvaccinated people in critical care was five times higher and the number of Covid deaths was four times higher than vaccinated people.
Mr Regan also revealed that MFT’s medical director has confirmed the majority of patients in critical care at the moment are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.