Outbreaks of Covid-19 in old people’s homes attest to short-term nature of vaccine protection

There have been a number of outbreaks of Covid-19 in old people’s homes throughout Portugal, attesting to the short-term nature of vaccine protection (click here). 

With the over-80s due to start receiving booster shots from next Monday, the situation clearly is that old people are still at risk.

One outbreak (in Arouca) already having caused two deaths seems to have been linked to the outing of 30 elderly residents to the polling booths (to vote in last month’s municipal elections). 

“They will have returned already infected”, explain reports.

Three homes in the Beja district have also reported outbreaks – again with two deaths among roughly 136 people who have tested positive.

As every report explains, all these people received two doses of Covid vaccines.

They are now due to receive a 3rd dose of Pfizer’s Comirnarty vaccine – irrespective of which brand of vaccine they received previously.

Once the over-80s have received their booster shots, the plan is to progress through the age ranges until everyone over the age of 65 has been treble jabbed.

Outlining the procedure earlier this week, epidemiologist Manuel Carmo Gomes – a member of the health authority’s vaccine technical commission – explained how markedly vaccine protection has been seen to ‘drop away’ in the most senior age groups.

“In May, deaths from Covid-19 in people aged 80 or more represented 32% of the monthly deaths; in July that had reached 53% and in October they are expected to reach 64% of the total number of deaths”, he told Correio da Manhã.

For now authorities are focused on revaccinating 2.4 million people – meaning they will retain millions of doses in reserve (click here).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com