The monitoring platform Info Tracker, maintained by researchers from the University of São Paulo (USP) and the São Paulo State University (Unesp), showed that the overwhelming majority of deaths by covid-19 in Brazil this year are from people who had not been vaccinated.
A study that followed all deaths caused by coronavirus between January and July found that 9,878 people who died from the disease were already immunized, equivalent to 3.68% of the total deaths by covid-19 in the same period. The survey was based on figures released by the Ministry of Health.
Epidemiologist Paulo Lotufo, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine at USP, says that vaccination has changed the profile of deaths and serious cases in the city of São Paulo. “We see that it started to fall, first among those over 80 years old, then between 70 and 79 and now between 60 and 69 years old”, he stated in an interview to USP radio.
In the United States, the disease also affects unvaccinated people more seriously. A survey published in June by the Associated Press news agency with US government data showed that 99% of people who died from the disease in May had not completed their vaccinations.
The data confirm that the expansion of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the immunizing agent used, is an efficient measure to reduce the number of serious cases, hospitalizations and deaths caused by covid-19.
In order for immunization to have a broader effect on the population and prevent more deaths from the disease, vaccination has to be accelerated. “If we had started in December, we could have avoided a lot, especially this second wave, which has been deadly”, highlights Lotufo.
Preventive measures are still needed
Despite the reduction in deaths, the epidemiologist advises that preventive measures should not be abandoned yet. “Attitudes of social distancing have relaxed too much lately. This is worrying, because we have the perspective of the entry of mutations”, he warns.
Lotufo points out that, although there is great concern about the arrival in Brazil of the delta variant, which originates in India, the country is more susceptible to the entry of other strains originating in closer regions. The lamdba, from Peru, already has confirmed cases in Amazonas and Paraná, while epsilon, found for the first time in southern California, has not yet arrived in Brazil.