Five indicators show the important impact of the vaccination campaign in containing the coronavirus pandemic. Useful data to overcome the hesitation of some segments of the population
That the vaccines against Covid-19 work, especially in preventing i severe cases of the disease, the hospitalizations e i deaths, it is scientifically known. According to the data held by the Higher Institute of Health, in particular, the complete vaccination cycle a double dose it avoids – taking an average of the age groups – hospitalization at 94%, hospitalization in intensive care at 97% and the fatal outcome of the disease at 96%. And it is also very high protection from infection, estimated at 88%. Numbers that, as for any vaccine, cannot reach 100%, but which are quite close, especially for what really makes the difference in terms of public health.
Beyond these percentages, which certainly remain the simplest and most direct way of quantifying theeffectiveness of vaccination administrations, today there are other data and indicators that account for theconcrete and tangible effect of the vaccination campaign. We have chosen five, all based on Italian data, to show with as many different approaches how the effect of vaccines is clearly appreciable already today, with just under 50% of the population having completed the cycle of administration.
All this does not mean that vaccines will lead to a zeroing of severe cases, or even less to the end of the pandemic, but it makes it clear that vaccination campaign is giving an important contribution In the overcome the health emergency. It being understood that even those who are vaccinated should continue to pay great attention not to be infected and not to transmit the virus to others.
1. Fewer and fewer severe cases than infections
As already mentioned, the main effect of vaccinations is to reduce the number of severe Covid-19 cases, i.e. such as to require hospitalization or intensive care, or to cause the patient’s death. And in this sense the effect of the vaccination campaign is captured by looking at the relationship between people hospitalized and active cases (ie people currently positive). We currently have 1,512 people hospitalized with symptoms e 182 in intensive care, out of a total of 68,236 positive cases. Namely, a hospital admission rate of 2,2% and hospitalization in intensive care of the 0,27%.
The same parameters calculated two months ago (268 thousand active cases) were respectively 3% and 0.48%, at the beginning of this year (575 thousand active cases) they were 4% and 0.44%, and at the beginning of October 2020 (52 thousand cases active) were 5.89% and 0.55%. A year ago, when intensive care was essentially empty with just forty people, the rate of hospital admissions was still 5.88% (735 hospitalized out of 12,500 active cases). In short, compared to the positive cases we have never had so few people in the hospital and the same goes for intensive care.
2. The average age of deaths is falling
To understand what it has to do the effect of vaccination with average age from the deceased people, it is necessary to take into account that the administrations are not proceeding in the right way uniform for all ages, but at the moment it is still very biased towards people of the age groups more advanced. The over 80s are covered at 90%, the seventies at 83%, the sixties at 72%, the fifties at 65%, the forties at 51% and so on.
What one would expect from an effective vaccination campaign, in practice, is that proportionally fewer elderly people die than young people, so that the average age of deaths decreases hand to hand. Well, that’s exactly what’s happening. From the first week of February onwards the mean age of positive patients who died was constantly decreasing, passing from 81.77 years at 79.71 in the first week of March, then at 78.74 in early April 76.66 at the beginning of May. Currently, with some fluctuations from week to week, we are around 75 years old.
The decrease in the average age of deaths, however, is accompanied by a decrease in other parameters, such asaverage age of hospitalized and patients admitted to intensive care. And the average age of positive people has also dropped a lot, arriving in July for the first time under 50.
3. There are far fewer hospitalizations among the vaccinated
Of course in this case it makes no sense to look at the absolute numbers, but at the relationships. Also because, in an ideal situation in which 100% of people are vaccinated, all hospitalizations would be vaccinated. The numbers in this case speak for themselves. Let’s take the over eighty, which in early July were covered by the 85% double dose. According to national data from mid-June to mid-July i15% of unvaccinated is paid to 71% of hospitalized (54% if you count only the new hospitalized of the month) and 69% of deaths. In short, while representing a very small slice of the over 80s, the unvaccinated are the majority of people of that age who end up in hospital with Covid-19.
As the weeks pass and the vaccination campaign progresses, it goes without saying that the unvaccinated may no longer be the absolute majority. This is a very trivial statistical consideration, but to avoid confusion on this point, the journalistic name of “paradox ”of the audience of the vaccinated. Even if most of the patients are vaccinated, this does not at all mean that the vaccine is not very effective.
4. The collapse of deaths among doctors
First to receive the vaccine together with the others health workers, i medici they are also the category in which the positive effects of the administrations. In the first year of the pandemic, from February 2020 to January 2021, the sad count of doctors who died from Covid-19 exceeded quota 300. Today, six months later, we are at quota 359.
In short, it can be said that the vaccination campaign coincided with an abrupt halt in deaths among doctors, even more so considering that the months of February and March (in which the vaccination campaign of health workers was nearing completion) are paid to a further fifty deaths, for stop then almost completely by the arrival of spring.
5. Sars-Cov-2 appears less lethal
We have already reiterated it: compared to the total number of positive cases recorded, they are in decrease all indicators of severe disease. A rather sharp decrease, such as to be reflected in an appreciable way also in the variation of media lethality of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. According to 2020 data, in fact, the viral infection had an average lethality of 3,4%, while at the beginning of March the overall average had already dropped to 3,3% and at the beginning of May it had dropped further to 3%.
In the last two months the overall figure has remained stable at 3%, also because the number of new cases has been too short to significantly shift the overall average. In fact, if we consider the period from April 1st to today, average lethality dropped to 2.54% (713 thousand cases corresponding to 18 thousand deaths), and in the last month at 0,81% (63 thousand cases and 513 deaths).