NEW STUDY: Elderly and sick most at risk of COVID death whether vaccinated or not

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(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News

The people most at risk of dying of COVID are the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, whether vaccinated or not, an Italian study has found.

The survey, by Italy’s national Health Institute (ISS), looked at the medical records of 671 unvaccinated COVID fatalities, and 171 fully vaccinated fatalities, according to Reuters. The analysis was carried out between February 1 and October 5 this year.

It found that, among the unvaccinated cohort, the average age of death was 78, and individuals had on average four pre-existing co-morbidities. Among the vaccinated cohort, average age of death was 85, with five co-morbidities.

Heart problems, dementia and cancer were all found at higher rates among the vaccinated cohort.

According to Reuters, some 38,096 people died with COVID in Italy during the study review period. Of these, 33,620 were unvaccinated, 2,130 were vaccinated with a single dose or shortly after their second dose, and 1,440 were fully vaccinated. Official figures show that 80% of Italians over the age of 12 are vaccinated.

Italy has been witness to violent protests following the government mandating health passes for all workers on October 15. On Monday, Italian police turned water cannon and tear gas on protestors staging a sit-in at the port of Trieste, which has become a focal point for protests.

“They attacked us. I am speechless. I never expected it,” Stefano Puzzer, the spokesperson of the port protesters told Reuters. “We will sit down here. We are keeping calm. We will not give up.”

According to Puzzer, 40% of Trieste’s port workers are not vaccinated. Under the new law, workers without a health pass are to be suspended from their jobs without pay, and face fines of up to 1,500 Euros if they work without one.

The Italian study follows figures released by the UK government’s Vaccine Surveillance Report, which shows that rates of COVID are twice as high among vaccinated people than unvaccinated in some age categories.

The figures for weeks 37 through 40 2021 detail that unvaccinated under 18s have the highest rate of COVID, at 2,670.7 per 100,000 population. However, fully vaccinated individuals aged 40-49 have the second highest rate of COVID, at 1,455.8 per 100,000, double the rate for unvaccinated individuals of the same age, which stands at 696.2 per 100,000.

Table from the UK government's COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report – week 41, showing Covid infection rates.

Table from the UK government’s COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report – week 41, showing COVID infection rates.

The next highest at-risk for catching COVID are vaccinated 50-59 year-olds, with cases for this cohort standing at 903.1 per 100,000, against 489.3 per 100,000 for unvaccinated individuals of the same age. The rates of infection were higher in vaccinated individuals between 30 and 79 than in their unvaccinated counterparts, while those over 80 and under 18 were more at risk of catching COVID if unvaccinated.

Analysists have speculated that the low rate of COVID among vaccinated under 18s could be down to that group having received the vaccine more recently, leading to a boost in immunity before the benefit conferred tails off.

The authors of the UK report note: “Interpretation of the case rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated population is particularly susceptible to changes in denominators and should be interpreted with extra caution.”

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