Hong Kong’s high death rate shows the importance of vaccinating the elderly.

Because the dying toll from Covid-19 surges in Hong Kong, some scientists stated that, within the period of Omicron, vaccinating as many older folks as doable must be a high precedence.

Hong Kong, which was as soon as one of many world’s most formidable redoubts of “zero Covid,” has supplied scientists a case research concerning the menace Omicron poses in a completely totally different setting: a dense metropolis the place folks weren’t solely largely untouched by earlier infections, but additionally the place the oldest and most weak residents had been largely unvaccinated.

A number of crucial classes emerged, well being consultants stated.

With two circulating Omicron subvariants, together with the extremely contagious BA.2 subvariant, vaccinating a broad swath of the inhabitants remained essential, scientists stated. However inoculating as many older folks as doable had turn out to be far and away probably the most crucial factor to do.

That message, they stated, was most urgent for China, the place vaccinations in older age teams additionally seem like lagging and there may be little immunity from earlier infections.

But it surely was related once more in america, too, the place subpar vaccination and booster charges amongst older folks have left scientists involved a few potential surge of BA.2 circumstances. Partly as a result of so many extra Individuals have been contaminated and killed by the coronavirus throughout earlier waves, scientists don’t count on america to face as critical a state of affairs within the coming months as Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, which together with mainland China had been among the many final holdouts of a method of tight restrictions and border controls to eradicate the virus, was left weak by how few of its residents had any immunity from prior infections: Earlier than the Omicron surge, scientists estimated that only one % of Hong Kong’s inhabitants had contracted the virus.

Lower than one-quarter of individuals aged 80 and over in Hong Kong had been given two doses of a vaccine earlier than Omicron surged, in contrast with greater than 90 % of individuals in Singapore and New Zealand.

The town has now vaccinated 39 % of residents aged 80 and above, regardless of having inoculated nearly two-thirds of 12- to 19-year-olds.

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