Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Covid deaths among unvaccinated seniors higher than for other age groups, says DG Hisham

He also says there has been an increase in hospital admissions among the elderly, with most of the cases in Category Three and above.

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The Covid-19 fatality rate among the elderly, especially those who have yet to complete their vaccination or receive a booster shot, is much higher than that of other age groups, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

Based on the data for epidemiology week (ME) 1/2022 to ME 10/2022, the fatality rate of those aged 80 and above stood at 2,000 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 300 to 600 cases among individuals aged 60 to 79.

“This is due to a weakened immune system, chronic diseases as well as a slower and complicated recovery process,” he said in a statement.

Noor Hisham also said that unvaccinated seniors have the highest risk of infection which could result in death, while those who have received a booster jab are the most protected.

He said a total of 86,804 Covid-19 cases involving senior citizens were reported from ME 1/2022 to ME 10/2022 with 83,709 cases or 96.44% in Category One and Two, and 3,095 cases or 3.56% in Category Three to Five.

“This shows that the relatively high percentage of vaccination coverage among the elderly has helped reduce cases of serious Covid-19 infections for this group.

“However, booster shot coverage for the elderly should be further increased from 74.2% to better protect the group against the effects of severe infection,” he said.

Meanwhile, Noor Hisham said there had been an increase in hospital admissions among the elderly, from one case per 100,000 people to nine cases from ME 3/2022 to ME 10/2022,

Most of the cases were in Category Three to Five, he added.

As of March 16, he said a total of 3,356,253 or 92% of senior citizens had completed their primary Covid-19 vaccination while 2,489,718 or 74.2% had received a booster dose.

He urged unvaccinated senior citizens and those who have yet to receive a booster shot to immediately walk in at the nearest vaccination centre as the country will enter the transition to endemic phase next month.

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