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Benefits of vaccination are clear - Chief Scientific Adviser

NI’s Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Ian Young has commented on the Vaccination Status of Deaths and Hospitalisations Report issued by the Department of Health.

Professor Young said the newly published statistics once again demonstrate the importance of getting as many people as possible vaccinated.

He continued:

“These statistics very much underline the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination. Getting your jab dramatically alters the odds in your favour, in terms of being protected against hospitalisation and death.

“I would again advise and encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated to do so without delay.”

Report Key Findings – Hospitalisations:

• Three-quarters of adult inpatients aged under 50 are unvaccinated.

• More than a fifth (22%) of inpatients aged 50 and over are unvaccinated.

• Unvaccinated individuals aged 50 and over are five times as likely to be admitted to hospital as fully vaccinated individuals.

• For adults under 50, whilst the numbers admitted to hospital are lower, an unvaccinated individual is almost 18 times as likely to need hospitalisation.

Key Findings – Death:

• Unvaccinated individuals aged 50 and over are almost four times as likely to die.

In a new phase of the vaccination programme announced this week, over 130 local pharmacies across NI are now offering the Moderna vaccine to everyone aged 18 and over who is not yet vaccinated. For more details on participating pharmacies offering Moderna COVID vaccine appointments in your area, visit nidirect or check out this interactive map:

Professor Young also cautioned against misinterpretation of the newly published statistics, in relation to hospitalisation and deaths of vaccinated patients over 50.

“We know that vaccination does not provide 100% protection of 100% of people. We also know that the risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID is much higher in older age groups. There will sadly continue to be some older people who will lose their lives to the virus, despite being doubly vaccinated. We can all help to reduce the risk of this happening by doing everything we can to stop COVID spreading.

“The vast majority of people over 50 in Northern Ireland are vaccinated. This needs to be borne in mind when assessing or comparing hospitalisation figures. The numbers of unvaccinated people dying or needing hospital care is significantly out of proportion to the numbers of unvaccinated people in the overall population.

“The benefits of vaccination are clear and unequivocal.”

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