Vaccine for over 50s and the obligation to wear masks: the data to understand how it went

Vaccine for over 50s and the obligation to wear masks: the data to understand how it went

Vaccine for over 50s and the obligation to wear masks

Obligation of masks and vaccines for over 50s: on Wednesday 15 June the legal provisions related to the containment of the pandemic changed. The Ffp2 will be necessary only on means of transport, excluding airplanes, and to access hospitals and health residences. While for those who have turned half a century, immunizing against Covid-19 will once again become a free choice.

The lack of these prescriptions that accompanied the first half of 2022 is an opportunity, given to hand, to try to evaluate its effectiveness. The numbers say that the vaccination obligation was a flop, while the masks seem to have had some effect. Even if the variables involved, which could modify the judgment, are several. Here are the details.

The failure of compulsory vaccination On 8 January the government announced the introduction, starting from 1 February and precisely until 15 June, of the compulsory vaccination for those who had reached 50 years of age. An extreme attempt to convince that part of the population most exposed to the serious consequences of the infection that until then had refused the vaccine. And to give a new impetus to a campaign that at the turn of the new year had reached a ceiling.

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Here if you don't see the chart At the announcement of the entry into force of the obligation, on January 8th, 24,687,586 over 50s had received at least the first dose. Which, if we consider that according to Istat as of January 1, residents over 50 years old were 27,572,197, leads to 2,884,611 people forced to be vaccinated. As of June 15, just 17% of these subjects complied with the obligation to get vaccinated. It means, more or less, only one in six people. The € 100 fine, in other words, has not proved to be an effective deterrent.

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Here if you do not see the graph The effect hoped for by the government, as shown in the graph, was exhausted within few weeks. The numbers show that 2.4 million Italians have not respected the vaccination obligation. But the numbers don't say everything. In the sense that among these people there is certainly some of the 3.4 million people over 50 who, as certified by the surveillance bulletins of the Higher Institute of Health, contracted the virus in the first six months of this year. . And that, for this reason, they were no longer required to be vaccinated.

The quality of the data released by the Italian institutions, however, is not such as to allow us to accurately assess the extent of this phenomenon. They only allow us to say that, looking at the first doses, the compulsory vaccination has proved a failure.

The effects of masks on infections and ICU admissions If evaluating the efficacy of the compulsory vaccine is simple, more complex is the speech regarding the masks. The idea was to compare the Italian situation with that of Germany, France and Spain. And here the problems begin. Meanwhile, the obligation has not always been total and has not necessarily meant the same things in all countries.

Secondly, multiple factors affect the spread of the infection and admissions to intensive care, such as coverage and the efficacy of the vaccine, the average age of the population, social distancing measures such as the reduced capacity of sports facilities that characterized the first months of 2022. Without forgetting the different rates of lethality and hospitalization of the variants of Sars-CoV- 2.

Wired has chosen to rely on Our World in Data (Owid) to reconstruct the trend of infections and ICU admissions, expressed as incidence per million inhabitants, and the European center for disease prevention and control (Ecdc) regarding the prescriptions regarding the use of masks.

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Here if you do not see the graph The legend n the lower part allows you to understand what were, from a general point of view, the forecasts with respect to the use of the masks. has chosen to keep the classification given by the ECDC, specifying however that from 1 May in Italy indoor masks have no longer been mandatory. With the exception of cinemas, theaters, means of transport and health facilities.

Our country has managed to keep the curve of intensive care admissions per million inhabitants lower. A curve that, however, continued to decline even after the easing introduced at the beginning of May.

More generally, it is possible that vaccination coverage also affected this trend: as of June 13, only 78, 4% of the French and 77.5% of the Germans had completed the vaccination cycle, against 80.5% of the Italians. And, as evidence of how the variables to be considered are many, 85.6% of Spaniards. This, however, is the situation from the point of view of infections:

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Here if you do not see the graph The curves of Italy and Spain they are substantially overlapping: in Madrid the contagion curve was lower than in Rome and did not increase after further easing compared to the use of masks in force since 20 April. The increase seen in Paris in the same month then returned without the need to introduce more restrictive measures.

While in Germany, in the first quarter, infections grew with the obligation to use them indoors, they reduced when this obligation has been made partial. And once again in France, it took three weeks before the final farewell to masks led to an increase in infections. An increase that, for the moment, has not translated into an increase in the incidence of hospitalizations in intensive care. In short, it is complex to evaluate the impact of the use of masks in this phase of the pandemic. Certainly, Italy was the country that maintained a more stringent obligation for longer than the other countries considered. If and how much this has reduced infections and hospitalizations, however, it is difficult to say with certainty.

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