Spain is debating making Covid anti-vaxxers pay for ICU care, claiming that they are endangering others.
Anti-vaxxers in Spain are currently embroiled in a heated dispute about whether they should be penalized if they wind up in intensive care with Covid.
The virus has wreaked havoc on the Mediterranean country, which is presently fighting its fifth wave. Unlike past outbreaks, the bulk of the country’s over-40 population has now had two Covid vaccines, meaning many people are only experiencing minor symptoms.
However, more than 70% of over 50s hospitalized to intensive care units have not been vaccinated, which is a concerning trend.
This is due to either personal preference or a lack of access to immunization clinics.
It costs roughly £30 to double-vaccinate someone with the Pfizer vaccine versus £650 every night to keep a patient alive in ICU.
The country’s health service has spent up to £43,000 on ICU stays.
This colossal expenditure for the Spanish taxpayer has created a heated discussion about whether persons who choose not to have the vaccine should be responsible for their own treatment.
“Let them pay if folks like this extend the pandemic. It needs to be formed right now,” a nurse from one of Barcelona’s main hospitals told Spanish radio station La Cadena SER.
Another retired nurse adds, “I would also make them pay because they put others in danger.”
Many, however, are opposed to the plan, stating that it is equivalent to punishing a footballer for breaking their leg during a game.
Others argue that rather than punishing individuals who have not been vaccinated, the problem should be addressed by providing rewards to those who have been.
Dr. Ana Zapatero, deputy of the Intensive Medicine Service (ICU) at the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, believes it is unfair that people end up in hospitals due to the negligence of others, but that this occurs in many other areas of life as well.
Many people have not been vaccinated, according to Dr. Zapatero, “for fear of the negative effects that have been discussed so extensively in the media.”
“Our role is not to judge, but to assist everyone,” she added.
“Judging must be left to others, not to those of us who are on the front lines, dealing with sick, fearful, and defenseless people.”
Professor Manel Peiró of the ESADE Institute of Health Management agreed, adding that in France and Greece, a carrot rather than a stick strategy is already being used.
“Brinkwire Summary News,” he remarked.