Covid-19 vaccine is protecting older people, latest data shows

A rising number of signals show that vaccinations are starting to reshape the Covid-19 pandemic infection curve among the elderly across the world.

In Kenya, people over 60 years of age have continued to register the highest number of Covid-19 infections that lead to death.

The latest data on cumulative deaths in Kenya on account of age show that people over 60 years have accounted for 1,128 out of the total 2,348 fatalities, representing nearly half of the total Covid-19 loss of lives recorded in the country.

Deaths of people between zero to nine years are 45, 10 – 19 years (17), 20 – 29 years (95), 30 – 39 years (210), 40 – 49 years (326) while those between 50 and 59 years have recorded 527 deaths.  

Read also: More men get the jab as Kenya Covid-19 shots cross 400,000

Dr Willis Akhwale, the chairman of Kenya’s Covid-19 vaccine deployment task-force says of the people over the age of 60: “according to our data, these are the most at risk of severe disease and account for 6o per cent of recorded deaths. These people will now be a priority target group in the ongoing vaccination exercise,” said.

A total of 13 people aged 60 years and older have succumbed to the virus on April 11, bringing the total to 1,128 with another 87 testing positive, health ministry said.

Teachers, frontline healthcare workers, security personnel have also been prioritized in Kenya’s first phase of Covid-19 vaccination.

Analysis from Public Health England indicates that between December 8, 2020 to the end of March, over 15 million vaccine doses were given to adults aged 60 and above, a shot that has prevented deaths of around 10,400 older persons in the UK since it began.

Data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that eight out of ten Covid-19 deaths reported in the US have been in the people above the age of 65.

The CDC has been advocating that adults 65 years and older be included among those offered the first supply of Covid-19 vaccines.

There, however, remains concerns in Kenya due to expected vaccine supply hitches from the Serum Institute India, which produces the overwhelming majority of the AstraZeneca vaccine that is supplied under the Covax umbrella to about a third of the global population.             

India is battling a record wave of Covid-19 infections, and the surge of cases may cause more delays in the world’s access to India’s critical supply of vaccines as the country focuses on domestic demand.                 

Meanwhile, the cumulative number of confirmed positive cases is at 145,670 with 1,561,838 samples tested so far.

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