Vaccination in Austria – new numbers

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Of the 190,365 laboratory-confirmed Corona cases with clinical symptoms since the beginning of February – taking into account only those over 12 years of age, as younger people are not vaccinated against Covid-19 in Austria – 13,075 affected individuals were fully vaccinated. This means that the proportion of vaccination breakthroughs currently accounts for 6.87 percent, as the Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) has now made public (cut-off date: September 28).

Hospitalizations
At least 249 affected persons had to be treated in hospital, which corresponds to 0.13 percent of those fully vaccinated. However, the proportion of vaccine breakthroughs is significantly higher if only the past four weeks – August 30 to September 26 – are considered. Of the 28,157 symptomatic laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection cases recorded during this period, 7,652 individuals were fully immunized. That was still 27.18 percent. However, this had hardly any serious health consequences for those affected. Only 25 or 0.09 percent had to be subsequently treated in a hospital.

“It is to be expected that with an increasing vaccinated population there will also be more vaccination breakthroughs,” AGES points out in this context. Currently, slightly more than 5.4 million Austrians are fully immunized against Covid-19, which corresponds to about 60.5 percent of the population. The correlation between the incidence of vaccine breakthroughs and the proportion of the population vaccinated is not an indication of low vaccine efficacy, AGES emphasizes, “The efficacy of Covid-19 vaccination is very good, but is not 100 percent. Although Covid-19 vaccination has a high probability of protecting those vaccinated from Covid-19 or severe Covid-19 disease, it does not prevent all infections in those vaccinated.

Here’s why the numbers are rising
If the proportion of vaccinated people in the population increases, then the likelihood of vaccinated people being among those who become infected or ill with SARS-CoV-2 also increases, he said. In addition, he said, the number of vaccine breakthroughs also depends on the infection pressure – the number of active cases – “The higher it is, the higher the likelihood of having contact with an infectious SARS-CoV-2-infected person. The more active cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection there are in the population, the higher the likelihood of becoming infected as a vaccinated person.”

By comparing the proportion fully vaccinated in symptomatic Corona cases to the proportion fully vaccinated in the population, the effectiveness of vaccination can be roughly estimated. According to AGES, vaccine effectiveness for the period from early February to late September averages at least 88 percent. For 18- to 39-year-olds, it is thus 88.81 percent, for 40- to 59-year-olds 87.34 percent and for those over 60 89.36 percent. “According to this analysis, a vaccine effectiveness of at least 88 percent means that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection with symptomatology was reduced by at least 88 percent in the fully vaccinated compared to the not fully vaccinated or unvaccinated for the observation period,” AGES notes.

Mostly mild courses
Moreover, data from other countries and studies show “that these diseases are mostly mild in fully vaccinated persons, and hospitalizations and deaths can be avoided”. Vaccine breakthroughs primarily affect people with pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems, for whom vaccination could not provide immune protection, AGES reiterates.

The effectiveness of the vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2 has been determined by Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG) and expressed in figures. Accordingly, 11,577 hospitalizations, 3,186 stays in intensive care units and 3,587 deaths were avoided throughout Austria in the months of February to September 2021.

  • source: kleinezeitung.at/picture:pixabay.com
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