These Vaccinated Groups are Still at Risk of Severe Covid, UK Study Finds

A new data tool provides insights into risk for patient categories

An Oxford University study examined the risk of severe COVID-19 leading to hospitalization or death from 14 days after a second dose vaccination when substantial immunity should be expected.

The study, recently published in The BMJ, showed that the incidence of mortality from COVID-19 amongst those considered fully vaccinated increased with age, deprivation, being male, and for those with Indian and Pakistani ethnicity.

The study identified the following at-risk groups (HR indicates Hazard Ratio);

  • Down’s syndrome (HR 12.7)
  • Kidney transplantation (HR 8.1)
  • Sickle cell disease (HR 7.7)
  • Chemotherapy (HR 4.3)
  • Care home residency (HR 4.1)
  • HIV/AIDS (HR 3.3)
  • Liver cirrhosis (HR 3.0)
  • Neurological conditions (HR 2.6)
  • Recent bone marrow transplantation or a solid organ transplantation ever (HR 2.5)
  • Dementia (HR 2.2)
  • Parkinson’s disease (HR 2.2)

Details of the study

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The mean age of people in the cohort was 52 years and the data were drawn from 2031 COVID-19 deaths and 1929 COVID-related hospital admissions, of which 81 deaths (4%) and 71 admissions (3.7%) occurred 14 or more days after the second vaccine dose.

Researchers used the QCovid tool to analyze outcomes in adults aged 19 and over between December 8 last year and June 15 of this year. National linked datasets from general practice were used, national immunization, and SARS-CoV-2 testing, death registry, and hospital episode data, in order to analyze a sample of more than 6.9m vaccinated adults. Of those, 74.1% had received two vaccine doses.

According to Julia Hippisley-Cox, professor of clinical epidemiology and general practice at the University of Oxford, who co-authored the paper;

“The UK was the first place to implement a vaccination program and has some of the best clinical research data in the world. We have developed this new tool using the QResearch database, to help the NHS identify which patients are at the highest risk of serious outcomes despite vaccination, for targeted intervention. This new tool can also inform discussions between doctors and patients about the level of risk, to aid shared decision making.”

The study results are provided to allow individuals to assess their own personal risk more accurately and should not, in any way, be considered suggestive of any inefficacy of the vaccines themselves. The Covid-19 vaccines continue to offer a high level of protection against severe Covid.

If, however, you suffer from any of the listed conditions above, you need to be aware that your risk profile may remain elevated and that you will still need to exercise care with regards to exposing yourself to the virus.

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