22 thousand deaths avoided thanks to vaccine

by time news

With Covid vaccines they have been avoided “22 thousand deaths” in Italy and “470 thousand in Europe”. It is the Higher Institute of Health that summarizes the main numbers that demonstrate the positive impact of Covid vaccines both in our country and in the European continent. The data are contained in two new studies, both published today in the Eurosurveillance journal. The work from which a European overview emerges is an international study, led by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc). The other that refers to the national context is an Italian ISS study.

The WHO study refers to the period from January to November 2021, and notes how vaccination avoided 51% of deaths expected in the European region among subjects over 60 years of age in the first 11 months of the vaccination campaign. Fewer deaths averted are found in countries such as Romania, Moldova and Ukraine where vaccination coverage has been lower. This value is in line with the results of the ISS study – they explain from the Italian institute – which, even considering a larger population (subjects over 12 years of age) and more conservative criteria of effectiveness, states that in the first 9 months of the campaign Covid vaccines prevented over 22,000 deaths until September (compared to 35,000 estimated by the WHO until November).

The study also shows how 445 thousand cases, 79 thousand hospitalizations and almost 10 thousand admissions in intensive care were avoided in Italy, with a more pronounced effect in July and August, when coverage of more than 60% was achieved in the over 20 age group ” .

Of the 22 thousand deaths avoided, 71% are in the over 80s, the first age group to reach high coverage in addition to the one at greatest risk of death from Covid, 18% in the 70-79 age group, 8% in the 60-79 age group. and 2% in the under 60s, the last to be vaccinated. Without vaccines, the expected rate of ordinary hospitalizations would have been 1,592 per 100 thousand inhabitants in the over 80s, 871 for the 70-79 range, 595 for the 60-79 and 214 for the under 60s, while those observed were respectively 886, 618 , 421 and 163.

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Both the WHO and ISS studies estimated a percentage of deaths avoided compared to the total just under 40%. In both works, an equation developed for influenza vaccines but already applied in other countries for studies related to Sars-CoV-2 was used using data from the Integrated Surveillance and National Immunization Portal of the Ministry of Health. The analysis examines only the direct effects of vaccinations, and not the indirect ones due for example to the reduction in the circulation of the virus, and therefore could underestimate the reduction. The Italian study analyzes the infections reported weekly between January and September that resulted in hospitalization, admission to intensive care and / or death within 30 days of the infection itself, while the European study, in order to compare the data from different countries, is based on the number of reported deaths per week up to November 2021.

Furthermore, the two studies – specifies the ISS – refer to different populations (only over 60 in the WHO study and the entire population over the age of 12 in the ISS study and slightly different definitions of complete vaccination and vaccination efficacy, as in the WHO article compares countries that have used different vaccines (by type and proportion) compared to those used in our country, whose effectiveness is documented with the same approach proposed in the weekly ISS bulletin, distinguishing between months in which the variant was dominant Alpha and months in which the Delta variant was dominant.

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