- Vaccinating the most elderly & vulnerable first have greatest impact: Study
- The study showed that prioritising older age groups mitigated deaths
- The study published in PLOS Computational Biology was completed in 2020
Washington: A multi-institutional study suggests that prioritizing vaccine delivery to older age groups and the medically vulnerable has the greatest impact in minimizing loss of life. Strategic vaccine delivery is critical to reducing COVID-19 transmission, mortality and long-term health impacts affirm a study published in PLOS Computational Biology by Sam Moore, Matt Keeling and colleagues at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. While older people are more likely to experience serious health outcomes related to COVID-19 infections, younger age groups contribute significantly to disease transmission and spread.
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In order to test the efficacy of different vaccination strategies on minimizing deaths and hospitalisations, researchers built an age-structured model that simulated the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within different regions in the United Kingdom. The authors then used the model to test multiple different scenarios, including variations in vaccine efficacy using observational data on comorbidities and social-distancing measures in the United Kingdom. The models showed that vaccine strategies prioritizing older age groups first most effectively mitigated deaths and lost quality of life years, despite the significant role of younger groups in disease spread.
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Since the study’s completion in 2020, data has become available for the key assumption on vaccine uptake and specific vaccine characteristics, however, the general conclusions of the study remain relevant.
Additionally, the research has already helped guide UK policymakers in the development of an effective COVID-19 vaccination program, including the formation of the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation’s priority groups that have been used for vaccine delivery.
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According to the authors, “While the ultimate success of any vaccination scheme will be highly contingent on the characteristics of the vaccine itself and the level of population uptake, as vaccines are developed which mitigate the disease, it is of great importance that they are delivered in an optimal manner — reducing mortality and healthcare demands. In all scenarios, we find vaccinating the most elderly and vulnerable first to have the greatest impact.”
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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.