Editor do TN Online
The profile of people hospitalized with critical beds due to covid-19 has changed. Until this Monday (5), practically half of the patients who were in beds of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were young. In parallel, there is a drop in the proportion of hospitalized patients over 80 years of age, in comparison between the months of January and March. Although vaccination is ongoing, epidemiologists say it is too early to ensure that the drop in the index is linked to immunization.
Credits: Adriano AbreuNumber of non-elderly people hospitalized, and in serious condition by covid-19 in Rio Grande do Norte, increased in March
According to official data from the State Department of Public Health (Sesap / RN), January had 762 people regulated to specific critical beds for the treatment of covid-19, among patients who were discharged or still remained under medical care. In March, the number jumped to 1,623.
In the analysis of the proportion that each age group corresponds to the total number of hospitalized patients, there was a relative drop in the public from the age of 70, being more pronounced in the public above the age of 80. In the group of people aged 90 or over, there was a reduction, even, in the absolute number of people hospitalized.
In January, there were 198 people hospitalized between 15 and 49 years of age. In March, that number jumped to 518, which corresponds to 31.92% of all hospitalized patients at this time, while the percentage was 25.98% in the first month of the year.
Among the age group from 70 to 79 years, the number of hospitalized patients also increased, jumping from 135 to 250. However, the public, which corresponded to 17.72% of hospitalized patients, is now 15.4%.
In the age group over 80, the proportional decline was greater. In January there were 114 hospitalized people, while March registered 140. In January, people over 80 years old corresponded to 14.96% of the total hospitalizations, and today the percentage is 8.62%.
Between 90 and 99 years old, there were 32 people hospitalized in January and, in March, the number was 27, equivalent to 1.66% of the total hospitalized, while the percentage was 4.2% in January.
Despite the positive numbers, experts carefully analyze the possibility that the immunity provided by the covid-19 vaccine is already being reflected in the number of hospitalizations. In the understanding of the epidemiologist and researcher at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Ion Andrade, the drop in the proportion between people who were in the first vaccination groups and the public hospitalized with covid-19 is still not 100% reliable evidence of the effect of vaccination on society.
“What will attest to the effect of the vaccine will be the drop in absolute numbers, which will also mean the drop in proportional numbers. But universal immunization in these age groups will bring a residual number of patients hospitalized in these age groups, and the consequent tendency for the absolute numbers to fall, ”explained Ion Andrade, citing as an example the age group between 90 and 99 years. “The age group 90 years and over had not only a decrease in proportional numbers, but also absolute figures, probably indicating vaccine immunity because it is the age group that was first vaccinated”, he stresses.
Despite believing that the drop in the percentage of people over 80 years hospitalized is a tendency towards vaccination and other measures, such as the social distance of the elderly population, the director of the Instituto Envelhecer, the sanitarist and epidemiologist Kênio Costa Lima, also says that more time is still needed to ensure that this drop is the effect of vaccination. “We need to analyze the data carefully. For example, these 27 people who were hospitalized in March, they could have been hospitalized for some time or have been hospitalized before developing antibodies. I believe that at the end of April it will be possible to observe this situation (impact of vaccination) with more conviction ”, emphasizes Lima.
According to data from the RN + Vacina portal, Rio Grande do Norte has already vaccinated 100,494 people over 75 years of age, with 24,806 receiving the second dose of immunizers. Elderly people over 80 years of age, for example, began to be vaccinated with the second dose in Natal on March 3.
Currently, Natal is vaccinating elderly people over 65 years of age, the approximate age of vaccination in most municipalities in Rio Grande do Norte.
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