July 17, 2024

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UK: Lax vaccination leads to thousands of additional COVID-19 deaths

UK: Lax vaccination leads to thousands of additional COVID-19 deaths

Research in UK reveals that lax vaccination leads to thousands of additional COVID-19 deaths

The largest study of its kind in the UK has found that 7,180 hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 could have been avoided if people had received their full vaccine doses.

This groundbreaking research, conducted jointly by the Health Data Research UK (HDR) and the University of Edinburgh, examined hospitalization and death cases in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales from June 1 to September 30, 2022, involving 40,393 cases.

In this extensive study, researchers accessed secure and anonymous National Health Service (NHS) data for every person aged five and above, totaling around 67 million individuals. To address concerns about the spread of confidential health data, approved researchers could only access de-identified information, subject to strict security controls.

After consolidating and analyzing data from the four nations, categorizing the population by age groups and vaccination status, mathematical modeling revealed how many severe and fatal cases could have been prevented over a four-month period.

Despite the initial rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020, the study found that nearly 30.5 million people across the four nations (44.4%) had not been vaccinated or were not vaccinated on time by 2022. Researchers discovered a higher correlation between under-vaccination and severe consequences of COVID-19 compared to comprehensive vaccination.

Researchers stated, “We found that under-vaccination (receiving fewer than recommended doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines) is associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes across all age groups studied. This is the first epidemiological analysis using individual electronic health records covering the entire population of the UK.”

Unified data for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals were assessed in age groups 5-11, 12-15, 16-74, and 75 and above. It was observed that under-vaccination rates were highest among young people, males aged 5-74, and in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. Notably, vaccination rates were highest at the start of the sampling period and significantly declined by September 30.

The data indicated that the probability of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 for under-vaccinated children aged 5-15 was more than twice that of other children. The risk for the age group 16-74 was approximately 50% higher, while individuals aged 75 and above had a threefold increased likelihood of adverse outcomes.

Researchers noted, “The occurrence of severe illness in the younger age group is closely associated with under-vaccination. The results were generally similar across each country in both the primary and expanded adjusted analyses.”

While vaccines were not initially designed to prevent infection, an increasing body of reliable scientific evidence suggests their effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations and deaths. This holds true for those who continue to receive vaccinations more than two years into the pandemic.

Alan Keys, a co-author of the study and public contributor to the Health Data Research UK, stated, “The findings robustly validate the benefits of vaccination.”

Due to the development of a unified and anonymous analytical framework, this extensive dataset was made possible. However, scientists aim to expand the dataset further to better understand other serious healthcare issues.

Cathie Sudlow, Chief Scientist at HDR, said, “Now that the infrastructure is in place, there is potential to fully harness the routine data collected in the National Health Service systems across the four nations of the UK. We believe that these methods can and should be extended to many other medical areas such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes to better understand, prevent, and treat diseases.”

As of January 2022, the UK reported that 90% of residents aged 12 and above had received at least one vaccine dose. However, data shows a significant slowdown in the pace of booster vaccinations.

“Large-scale data studies are crucial for pandemic management, enabling scientists to quickly draw policy-related conclusions,” said Sir Aziz Sheikh, co-first author and HDR UK Research Director. “COVID-19 vaccines save lives. With the emergence of new variants, this study will help determine the public health focus for our societal groups and national regions, tailoring public health initiatives for these communities.”

The study has been published in The Lancet journal.

UK: Lax vaccination leads to thousands of additional COVID-19 deaths

UK: Lax vaccination leads to thousands of additional COVID-19 deaths

(source:internet, reference only)

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