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The effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines illustrated by two graphics | Society


The vaccines against Covid-19 are working. The best evidence of this is data from Spain showing that those who are unvaccinated in the population aged 60 to 80 are 25 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those who were fully vaccinated in the same age group. With almost 80% of the population in Spain fully vaccinated, the incidence rate among those who have not been vaccinated is almost three times that of those who received their vaccinations.

The Spanish Ministry of Health took a detailed picture for the first time on Tuesday of how the coronavirus affects the vaccinated and unvaccinated population differently. This data received a lot of attention on social media, especially two graphs showing the level of protection between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. One of the most shared and retweeted images on Twitter was published by journalist Eduardo Súarez. This graph uses the same data as that in Súarez’s table.

Last week, new data also showed the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines in preventing serious illness and death. Around 60% of Covid-19 patients in Spanish intensive care units (ICUs) are unvaccinated, according to the regions. As a result, many questions raised about the other 40%, which was cited as an extremely high value. However, this argument did not take into account the fact that in Spain there are many more people vaccinated than unvaccinated. In other words, the 60% of unvaccinated ICU patients must be seen in the context of a much smaller group of people. This can be better understood visually, for example, in the graphic by Belgian journalist Noël Slangen published on Twitter. It has been retweeted more than 5,800 times since it was released on November 19. The graphic at the beginning of this article has been formulated with a similar design, but with data that is specific to Spain.

The Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias repeated the core message of her department on Tuesday: “Vaccinate, vaccinate and vaccinate is still the best way.” An earlier study by the Ministry of Health in October found that vaccination reduced the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19 by more than 90% in most age groups.

The Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Spain is one of the most successful in Europe. Almost eight in ten people in Spain are fully vaccinated, compared to the EU average of 65%.

English version by Melissa Kitson.


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