Vaccination against coronavirus (COVID-19) of the Brazilian population over 70 years prevented the death of at least 43,000 elderly people in Brazil, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in the world, according to a study released this Thursday.
The research, carried out by the Center for Epidemiological Studies of the Federal University of Pelotas, Harvard University, Massachusetts, and the Ministry of Health, showed that the death of people over 70 years of age in Brazil suffered a sharp drop after 90 days from the start of the vaccination campaign.
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It also showed the high effectiveness of the two vaccines that Brazil used in the first months of its immunization campaign, that of the Chinese laboratory Sinovac and that developed jointly by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
The researchers analyzed the profile of the nearly 238,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Brazil between January and May of this year to conclude that the group over 70 years of age, a priority in vaccination because they are among the most vulnerable in the pandemic, was the most benefited from immunization.
While Brazilians between 70 and 79 years old represented 28% of the victims of the COVID-19 on Brazil Before vaccination, that percentage was reduced to 16% with immunization.
In the same way, the participation of people over 80 years of age in the total number of victims fell from 28% before vaccination to 12% after 90 days of the immunization campaign.
According to the Ministry of Health, by mid-May 90% of Brazilians between 70 and 79 years old had received at least the first of the two doses of the vaccine, while that percentage was 95% among those over 80 years of age. .
Those responsible for the study highlighted that vaccination prevented thousands of deaths of the elderly in Brazil despite the fact that the country registered in recent months a second wave of the pandemic more virulent and lethal than the first due to the arrival of variants of the coronavirus most contagious, mainly that originating in the Amazon.
Deaths increased among Brazilians of other ages
According to the study, on the contrary, the number of deaths increased among Brazilians of other ages due to the rapid spread in the country of the so-called gamma variant.
“The effectiveness of vaccines in the elderly was somewhat difficult to determine because the clinical studies of effectiveness (the tests of the immunizers with humans) included few people of this age. But the analysis showed that the vaccines were effective in the elderly and protected them from the new variants. “said epidemiologist César Vitoria, who coordinated the study.
“The results are very solid. Mortality fell in the groups analyzed and we are also perceiving that it has been falling in the group between 60 and 69 years old “added the researcher from the Federal University of Pelotas.
According to the researchers, having followed the trend before vaccination, Brazil between January and May it would have registered some 70,015 deaths of those over 80 years of age, almost double the 37,401 deaths of Brazilians of that age recorded in the period.
Among Brazilians between 70 and 79 years old, 13,838 deaths were registered in the period, well below the 20,238 that, it is calculated, would have been recorded without vaccination.
According to the Ministry of Health, to date 57.6 million people in Brazil have received the first dose of the vaccine and 23.8 million the second, which means that only 11% of the population has received both doses.
The Latin American giant, with 212 million inhabitants, accumulates 496,400 deaths by coronavirus and 17.7 million infections, and currently has an average of 1,998 deaths per day in seven days and an average of 70,000 infections per day.
These figures confirm it as the second country with the highest number of deaths by COVID-19 in the world, only behind the United States, and as the third with the most confirmed cases, after the United States and India.
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