Elderly men with other illnesses remain at risk from Covid in spite of vaccinations
The elderly, those with underlying health conditions and men remain at slight risk of dying from Covid-19 even after two vaccine doses but the level of protection offered to those who are vaccinated compared with those who are not increases significantly with age.
A Public Health Scotland study, which was conducted by researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Strathclyde and Aberdeen, examined Covid-related deaths among people who had received two doses of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna vaccine was excluded from the research as no deaths were recorded among people who had been innoculated with that during the period under review.
The researchers found that, of the 3.2 million people in Scotland who had received two vaccine doses by 18 August, 236 had died and had Covid-19 listed as a cause on their death certificate.
The majority of those were around 80-years-old, while 62 per cent were male and almost all – 97 per cent – had at least one other cause of death listed. These included chronic heart or kidney disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and irregular heart beat.
Public Health Scotland consultant Josie Murray said the results show that, while some people remain at risk from the virus even after vaccination, deaths from Covid are “extremely uncommon” in people who have had two doses.
“We know that having two vaccine doses does significantly improve people’s levels of protection, regardless of age, underlying health conditions or sex, when compared to those who are unvaccinated,” she said.
“Indeed, our findings suggest that adults aged 18 to 64 who are double vaccinated have almost four times increased protection against dying from Covid-19 compared to those who are unvaccinated.
“The figures are even more stark for those who are older, with double vaccinated adults aged 65 to 79 experiencing 15.5 times greater protection against death than their unvaccinated peers, and for adults over 80 this increased to 30 times higher."
Aziz Sheikh, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, said that while the research confirms that “unfortunately some people do die from the virus despite being vaccinated with two doses”, it also found that “vaccines overall are very effective at preventing hospital admissions and deaths from Covid-19”.