Covid vaccine rollout proving effective as deaths of vulnerable drop - and hospital admissions fall by 60%

Covid vaccine rollout proving effective as deaths of vulnerable drop - and hospital admissions fall by 60% (Photo: Shutterstock)

The latest figures on vaccinations and death rates show that the vaccine programme is working.

The number of people over 80 dying with Covid-19 has dropped significantly, while the rate of deaths has dropped less among those under 65.

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New research from the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) at University of Oxford based on the case fatality rate (CFR) since January shows that the death rate among over 80s has fallen by 32 per cent.

The same data shows that the death rate among under 65s during the same period dropped by 14 per cent, while hospital admissions are down by 60 per cent.

What do these findings mean?

While these findings do not reveal the impact the vaccination programme has had on transmissibility, it does suggest that the vaccine has been effective in reducing the mortality rate among those who do catch it.

CFR measures the number of people who die after testing positive for Covid.

Discussing their findings, the CEBM team said: “While several explanations are possible for these patterns, these results point to a potential impact of vaccination on the case fatality rate for 80-plus age groups.

“A fall in the case fatality rate would be expected if vaccination reduces the post-infection probability of death”.

The findings of this study come as figures show the number of overall deaths has also been falling.

What next for the vaccination plan?

Downing Street confirmed that the initial vaccination target of giving everyone in the four most vulnerable categories their first dose by mid-February was met over the weekend.

It is hoped that the top nine priority groups will all have received a first dose of the vaccine by the end of April.

The next groups of people eligible to receive the vaccine will be contacted via letter starting from this week, with around 1.2 million people expected to be invited.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is tasked with deciding the priority for vaccines, and are soon expected to announce the next steps for after the nine priority groups have been vaccinated.