Dr Mathieu Liberatore, head of the medical committee at Princess Grace Hospital, has told local French-language daily Monaco Matin that the early weeks of next year could prove difficult for the hospital.

“We are in the fifth wave, its peak is expected in January. It is imperative that the third dose be used against the Delta variant… early studies suggest that after three doses the Omicron variant one gains a significant level of protection.”

The doctor said that the third or booster does was the only significant way to provide significant protection.

He added that four patients were in intensive care on Friday, December 17, and none of them were vaccinated. Of sixteen patients being treated for coronavirus at CHPG on that day, only one had received three doses. This serves as a reminder that not even three doses provide complete protection, especially for fragile patients.

He warned that some patients in intensive care had been receiving this treatment for some time, and this could cause a “certain inertia” in the intensive care department.

“We are not yet saturated, but these patients are cutting into logistical and human resources, whereas this could be avoided by the vaccine,” he said.

Dr Liberatore warned that treating coronavirus patients was having a psychological and physical impact on hospital staff. He said that when the staff witnessed the arrival of unvaccinated patients this had a negative impact on morale among professionals who have been working long and extra hours for the past 20 months.

“But obviously, we continue to do our work in treating the patients whatever their vaccination status.”