The early impacts of vaccination in Brazil

The early impacts of vaccination in Brazil
Photo: Nelson Antoine/Shutterstock

Despite a slow start and successive delays, the positive effects of Covid-19 vaccination on the Brazilian population are beginning to show, particularly among senior citizens. 

A study by researchers at the Federal University of Pelotas, in partnership with Harvard University, shows that over 80s accounted for 28 percent of all deaths related to the coronavirus in Brazil until January 17, 2021, when the first vaccines were administered in São Paulo.

By the end of April, that rate fell to 13 percent — the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic. This pattern of deaths per age group was observed across all regions, with the exception of the North, which succumbed to Covid-19 collapses in March-April of last year and then again in January 2021.

“We found evidence that, though dissemination of the P.1 variant led to increases in reported Covid-19 deaths at all ages, the proportion of deaths among the elderly started to fall rapidly from the second half of February 2021. This proportion had been stable at around 25-30 percent since the beginning of the epidemic in early 2020, but is now below 15 percent in April 2021,” says the study.

“The most likely explanation for the observed reductions in proportionate mortality and in rate ratios for the elderly is the rapid increase in immunization coverage in these age groups, as has been described for other parts of the world.”