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Consequences of missed COVID-19 vaccines in the UK revealed


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Under-vaccinated older people more than twice as likely to have a severe COVID-19 outcome than those who were fully protected

More than 7,000 hospitalisations and deaths in the UK could have been averted in summer 2022 if people had received their recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, a new study published in The Lancet has revealed.

The largest ever study carried out in the UK found that between a third and a half of the UK population had not had the recommended number of COVID vaccinations and boosters by summer 2022.

In Northern Ireland, nearly 50 per cent of the population were under-vaccinated, while the proportion of under-vaccinated people in England was 45.7 per cent, 34.2 per cent for Scotland and 32.8 per cent Wales.

Researchers from the Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) and the University of Edinburgh analysed the electronic health records of 67 million residents aged 5 and older from across the four countries during June 1 to September 30 2022.

During these four months, there were around 40,400 severe COVID-19 outcomes, including 7,180 hospitalisations and deaths, which could have been averted, if the UK population was fully vaccinated, they said.

Under-vaccination was found associated with higher risk of hospitalisations and deaths across all age groups studied.

As per the findings, people over 75 who had not received their full vaccination were more than twice as likely to have a severe COVID-19 outcome than those who were fully protected.

The highest rates of under-vaccination were seen in younger people, men, people in areas of higher deprivation, and people of non-white ethnicity.

Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh, HDR UK Research Director, said: “As new variants emerge, this study will help to pinpoint groups of our society and areas of the country where public health campaigns should be focused and tailored for those communities.”

The UK witnessed a surge of Covid infections at the end of December, which led to some hospitals in England to enforce a mask mandate again.

The majority of new cases is believed to be driven by the new Covid variant – named Juno, and experts have warned that the return to school may fuel more infections.





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