New Delhi: 80 per cent of COVID deaths occurred among people aged more than 60 years, an analysis of the COVID pandemic, which was first detected in Wuhan, China has found and stressed on the importance of vaccine coverage for older people.
“This new analysis underscores the importance of increased efforts to ensure all older adults receive all doses they need of COVID-19 vaccines, including primary series and booster doses as recommended by WHO and national health authorities,” the WHO has said.
The data on primary vaccination shot in older adults is short of WHO goals
“COVID-19–associated mortality among persons aged ≥60 years exceeded 80 per cent of total COVID-19 mortality in 2020 and 2021 across all income groups; however, the median reported completed primary series coverage among older adults in 2022 was 76 per cent, substantially below the WHO goal, especially in middle- and low-income countries,” the US CDC has said.
“These vaccines have been found to be safe and highly effective in reducing severe COVID-19, hospitalizations and mortality; however, despite available evidence on effectiveness reported COVID-19 vaccination coverage among older adults has not yet come close to the WHO goal of 100 per cent in many parts of the world,” the study said.
COVID vaccines were approved by the WHO in December 2020 less than a year after the first case of COVID was reported.
The US CDC report stresses on the importance of vaccine booster doses as well. “As the fourth year of the pandemic begins, vaccine booster doses have been shown to restore or enhance protection against infection, symptomatic disease, and severe disease, beyond that originally afforded by the primary series,” the report says.
As of now, several countries are administering three doses of vaccines– one primary dose, one secondary dose and one booster dose. Few countries are also administering two doses of vaccine.
In India, health experts have said that currently there is no need for a fourth COVID vaccine dose. As per a study done by Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research in Karnataka, a fourth dose of COVISHIELD vaccine is not needed right now.