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Experts have said "COVID-19 is no longer a disease of the vaccinated" and hospital ICU beds are disproportionately burdened by those who have refused the Covid jab. It costs around £30 to double jab someone with the Pfizer vaccine compared to £650-a-night to keep a patient alive in ICU. In 2020/21 the cost of treating Covid patients totalled £7.8billion according to the NHS confederation.
In a poll of 9,699 people, held from December 6 to 8, 62 percent of voters said those who are eligible for the vaccine but refuse it and end up needing Covid health care should be forced to front the bill.
Express reader Peppa said: "Yes they should. Why should we pay for their selfish attitudes?"
Another reader going by 'UK lad' remarked: "I think they should pay for their care if they catch Covid yes, the NHS is stretched as it is, it's either that or the UK follows in Austria's footsteps and makes it compulsory to have the vaccines."
Sir Walter Raleigh went so far as to say: "Vaccinations should be mandatory."
As of December 5, 89 percent of over 12-year-olds in the UK have had their first dose of the Covid vaccine, 81 percent have had their second dose, and 20 million boosters have been administered.
.Parjam Zolfaghari, a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia at Barts Health NHS Trust, said a person with Covid stays in an ICU bed for three times longer than ICU patients who are admitted with other conditions.
He said nearly 90 percent of patients in ICUs with Covid in many hospitals across London aren't fully vaccinated.
If hospitalisations rise over winter, as they are expected to, it is feared that extra restrictions will be put in place - whether they will be enforced on everyone or the unvaccinated only is uncertain.
Germany and Austria have enforced lockdowns on the unvaccinated in a bid to encourage vaccine uptake and protect the vulnerable.
Of the 38 percent of voters who said antivaxxers should not be forced to pay for their Covid care, many took part in a furious rant in the comments section.
Reader 'Marc10' said: "What a stupid question, just to cause a split in the population. Everyone has the human right to say NO."
Some people believe that the freedom to refuse the vaccine should not impact your British right to free health care.
Joshua Toyn, 24, a pharmaceutical sales rep said: "I've had my first dose and will get my second, but making people pay for medical treatment if they've refused it goes against the founding set of values of the NHS; 'access to NHS services based on clinical need, not an individual's ability to pay'."
But Professor John Ashton, former regional director of public health for the North West of England, said taking the vaccine is
"not about civil rights, it's about winning the battle with this virus and not throwing in the towel".
Speaking on Good Morning Britain he added:
"There are still millions of people who are not double vaccinated in the UK, and that's a problem because the virus is still circulating, and while the virus is circulating, there is the potential for more mutations."
Many disgruntled Express.co.uk readers argued if antivaxxers had to pay for Covid treatment, then the obese should pay for obesity-related treatments, smokers should pay for cancer treatment, and reckless drivers should pay for any crash injury treatment.
( John Bellamy Comments - Being obese or a smoker or even a bad driver does not carry with it the threat that you can infect others and kill hem. It is NOT the same argument at all. )
Jep said: "That would open up a minefield. Should smokers pay for their healthcare. Or overweight people. Where would you stop?"