In what reads like the biggest We Told You So from health experts in the last year, a hospital in Byron Bay is reportedly seeing exclusively unvaccinated patients in the intensive care ward.

As COVID-19 rips its way through the country, cases and those admitted to hospital in the anti-vax capital Byron Bay have jumped.

According to the Daily Telegraph, it’s gotten so bad that the Lismore Base Hospital has had to open a third COVID ward following 50 hospital admissions. One of the doctors from the facility, Dr. Chris Ingall, told the publication that these stats were exactly “as we feared”.

“We are seeing an almost exclusively unvaccinated population in the hospital and exclusively unvaccinated in the intensive care ward at this point,” he said.

“We predicted this, we said there would be a tsunami here, everyone predicted it would sweep through the pockets of the unvaccinated.”

The publication also reports that one of these patients is a Mullumbimby-based tarot card reader who protested against vaccine mandates. She tested positive for COVID before Christmas and up until Saturday, had been spending her days on a ventilator since Christmas Day.

In a press conference on Sunday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said that half of the state’s 191 intensive care patients are unvaccinated, despite the fact they only make up six percent of the 16+ population.

“So the evidence, the facts are very, very clear,” he explained.

“Vaccination helps protect you and your family and your friends and the wider community.”

“The world is telling us that this virus will keep killing us and keep putting us in hospital, unless we get vaccinated,” the state’s health minister Brad Hazzard added.

“We know that people who are vaccinated do far better when it comes to defeating this omicron and indeed other variants of the virus.”

According to NSW Health data cited via The Australian Financial Review, only 86 percent of people in the Byron Shire Council have been double-vaxxed. The average of the state’s local government areas is 94 percent.

Obviously, there’s a financial cost here regarding people being in hospital after choosing not to get a vaccine that can lower the chances of you getting seriously ill. However, there’s also an emotional cost here for the healthcare workers who warned people to get vaccinated and are now left treating people who in most cases willingly decided to put themselves at risk. For many of those in health, I can imagine that’s extremely frustrating.

Image: Getty Images / [Jenny Evans / Stringer]