The vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in Italy has prevented approximately 8 million cases, more than 500,000 hospitalizations, more than 55,000 intensive care hospitalizations and approximately 150,000 deaths. The estimated data, relating to the period between December 27, 2020, the start date of the vaccination campaign and January 31, 2022, are contained in the report “Infections, hospitalizations and deaths associated with Covid-19 in Sars-Cov- 2 directly avoided by vaccination”, edited and published by the National Institute of Health (Iss).
The method used for the report
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To arrive at these calculations, the experts reported, a methodology was used, originally developed for flu vaccines but also applied in other countries around the world for studies relating to the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which uses data from integrated surveillance and the national vaccine register of the Ministry of Health. The approach is based in particular on the thesis that the weekly impact of vaccination on the events studied, i.e. notified cases of Covid-19, ordinary hospitalizations, those in intensive care and deaths, can be estimated by crossing the vaccination efficacy in relation to the event of interest, the weekly vaccination coverage and the weekly number of events analysed. This estimate, again reports the ISS, is defined as “direct”, because it does not take into account the possible indirect impact of the same vaccination on the unvaccinated population.
Ratings emerged through December 2021
From the survey, going into detail, it emerges that since the start of the vaccination campaign and until December 31, 2021, a total of 2.8 million cases, 290 thousand hospitalizations, 38 thousand hospitalizations for therapy have been avoided, thanks to intensive vaccines and 78,000 deaths. These figures represent respectively 43%, 58%, 57% and 64% of expected events, i.e. those observed plus those avoided.
In January, Omicron averted 74,000 vaccine deaths
Continuing the analysis of the report, it is clear that, in the month of January 2022 alone, marked by the spread of the highly diffusive variant of Omicron, a total of 4.3 million diagnoses of Sars-Cov- 2 have been observed, with vaccination which has prevented a total of 5.2 million cases of infection, 228,000 hospitalizations, 19,000 intensive care hospitalizations and 74,000 deaths. These figures, the report continues, constitute 55%, 83%, 86% and 87% of expected events in January 2022, respectively. in the age group 70-79. And still 7% in the 60-69 age group and 3% under 60 years old. One last report, then. The distribution of events averted, according to the report, “was not homogeneous over the period studied”. Indeed, in the first half of 2021, due to the low vaccination coverage, the number of events avoided was considered “limited”. On the other hand, during the second half of 2021 and during the month of January 2022, vaccination would have “avoided more than half of the expected events”.