Why it's crucial that 50+ age group takes up COVID-19 vaccines
The Covid-19 response in the Western Cape has always been driven by data and informed by evidence. As new data emerges, the province has incorporated it into their response to the pandemic, ensuring that we tailor our planning, and response to real-time data. According to the latest evidence to emerge from our epidemiology team, based on data gathered in the third wave, we are seeing the relative importance of over-50-year citizens taking up the Covid-19 vaccine as a matter of urgency.
The reasoning behind the message, relates to the high risk of severe illness in this group as well as the relative benefit to be derived from vaccines.
In the Premier’s weekly press conference, the province shared the following data:
1. The analysis of deaths during the 12-week period, showing clearly how 30% all cases, 60% admissions and 83% of deaths fall within the 50+ age group.
2. Vaccine effectiveness, data continues to show strong protection of full vaccination against severe disease and death. It also shows how partial vaccination is also protective but less so than full vaccination.
3. Vaccination status of admissions, hospitalisations and deaths of 50+: how the relative risk increases/diminishes due to vaccination status (the figures illustrate how 81% of the admissions are not vaccinated, and 83% of deaths are not vaccinated) – this is within specific week of 14 – 20 August.
This explains the national target of ensuring that 70% of the population is fully vaccinated by December. Vaccinations in the 50+ age group can yield a very high “return on investment” in the light of protection offered against the pending next wave of Covid-19.
For instance: according to Dr Cloete, HoD of Health Western Cape, the risk in 50+ age group is 7.5 times higher than the relative risk in 20-49 years. Even partial vaccination, with one dose of vaccine, lessens the risk of severe illness and full vaccination can reduce the risk 4.5 times. These figures illustrate clearly how the age category of 50+ is the single highest risk factor in the development of severe Covid-19 and death. Therefore, vaccination of the over 50-year-age group should be prioritized to save lives, and to protect the health system.
How are we doing?
Currently the province has fully vaccinated a total of or 52% (1402 252 people) of 50+ population. To reach our 70% target a further 365 981 vaccines will need to be administered to persons 50+ years. To reach the 70% partial vaccination of 18-49 years, a total of 1 278 452 vaccines must be administered.
When is a good time?
The Department urges citizens not to delay taking the first vaccination to ensure they have enough time between doses to complete their vaccination by December. If you wish to fully vaccinate by Christmas, your first vaccine should be administered no later than 20 October. The Health Department appeals to all citizens to prioritise vaccination.
No-one needs to pre-register. Please don’t delay but visit your closest site.
Please visit our web page for the list of weekend and week sites or call 0860142142 for direction.
Save Your Summer. Vaccination is for you.