Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 vaccination linked with fewer deaths

Fresh data of deaths between October 2021 and January 16, 2022, indicate that just over 80% occurred in individuals who were not vaccinated at all or had only a single dose. Of this, the percentage of completely unvaccinated individuals is 68.1 among a total of 1,411 deaths in that period.

The greatest impact of no vaccination has been in the over 50 years age group with co-morbidities, as it was in data from August to October 2021. Nearly 811 deaths of the total belong to this age group. The next group most affected is the under 50 years age cohort, again with co-morbidities — with a count of 80 deaths. These two categories account for over 63% of the total deaths. Whereas, people of both age groups (over 50 - 40 and under 50 - 30) who did not have any co-morbidities have suffered deaths too, but significantly lower.

The trend repeats itself among patients who got only a single dose, with those over 50 years and with co-morbidities recording the maximum deaths at 135. It was at 25 among those under 50 years with co morbidities, while with no co-morbidities in both age groups recorded 6 deaths each in the cohort that had taken only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“This period October - January actually coincides with the period when the number of deaths was rather low. However, irrespective of the number of deaths, the clear message is that vaccination helps — especially in those with co-morbidities,” said Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan. He adds that a number of these deaths would likely be caused as a result of the co-morbidity, but as a result of novel coronavirus infection being counted as COVID deaths, as that is the convention.

The earlier data that came from public and private institutions in Tamil Nadu recorded in August, September and October 2021, set the deaths among the unvaccinated and those with a single dose, closer to 90%. But the general trends were pretty similar though granular age data was not available then, as is now.

Masking in public areas plus getting the vaccine shots that a person is eligible for (including booster for some groups) continue to be the most important interventions to both prevent infections, and deaths and hospitalisations, Dr. Radhakrishnan stresses. A slackening in taking the booster or precaution dose (frontline and healthcare workers and senior citizens with co-morbidities) has been noticed and is worrying, he adds.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 4:46:15 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-vaccination-linked-with-fewer-deaths/article38311357.ece