WHO: COVID-19 Vaccines Saved Nearly 470,000 Lives of People over 60 in 33 European Countries

Society » HEALTH | November 26, 2021, Friday // 10:21
Bulgaria: WHO: COVID-19 Vaccines Saved Nearly 470,000 Lives of People over 60 in 33 European Countries law.nyu.edu

The COVID-19 vaccine has saved 469,186 lives for people aged 60 and over in 33 countries in the WHO European Region since the start of the vaccination campaign. This is evidenced by the results of a new study by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the organizations said in a press release, quoted by TASS.

The assessment did not take into account the lives saved from vaccination in the age group under 60 years and the lives whose lives were saved due to the indirect effects of vaccination due to reduced transmission of coronavirus. The study was conducted in 23 countries of the European Union, as well as in Iceland, Norway, Great Britain (England and Scotland), Switzerland, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Ukraine and Israel.

"COVID-19 has led to a huge number of deaths in our region, but now we can say with certainty that without the vaccine as a tool to control this pandemic, many more people would have died," said Hans Kluge, director of the WHO's European branch. In some countries, the number of deaths would be twice as high today as without vaccines. That is why it is crucial that all Member States in the European region reach a high reach of people at risk as soon as possible."

Since December 2019, countries in the WHO European Region have reported more than 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus deaths, of which 90.2% are in people aged 60 and over. The rapid development and deployment of coronavirus vaccines has provided much-needed protection against serious disease and death for millions of the most vulnerable, but the speed and scale of deployment of these vaccines is uneven across the WHO European Region.

Currently, in these 33 countries, 20% to 100% of people aged 60 and over are fully vaccinated against coronavirus. "According to the study, the largest number of lives saved was in countries where vaccination against COVID-19 was introduced early and the range of target groups was also high. Other countries have had a limited effect from the vaccine, as its introduction has been slower or has been used in parallel with the current effective use of non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce transmission, the report said.

ECDC Director Andrea Amon points out that the impact of low vaccination rates in some countries is now reflected in overloaded health systems and high mortality rates. "There are still too many people at risk of severe COVID-19 infection that we need to protect as soon as possible. Even in countries that have achieved a good overall vaccination coverage, there are still subgroups and age groups that remain below the desired level. Vaccination in older age groups must remain an urgent priority to save more lives in the coming weeks and months,” she said.


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