Protection against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, wanes over time, and booster uptake has been low.
Deaths of 10 Covid-19 patients in Shanghai are sounding alarm bells in the city, which has relatively low vaccination rate among the provincial-level regions in the Chinese mainland, media reports said.
For China at large, it is also a strong reminder that the insufficient vaccination rate among the elderly is a towering obstacle to the country’s move to ease Covid restrictions, said epidemiologists, Global Times reported.
Shanghai reported seven new deaths on Tuesday, aged 60 to 101 years. The deceased were all unvaccinated, and the direct cause of death was their underlying conditions, said Wu Qianyu, an official from Shanghai’s health authority.
The new deaths took the city’s toll to 10 during this outbreak, with more than 300,000 infections since March.
Although the number of patients released from the makeshift hospitals surpassed that of the fresh daily tally, epidemiologists said that the deaths reported in the past two days in Shanghai highlighted the lurking danger, given the city’s low vaccination rate of its senior residents.
On Friday, government officials in Shanghai said that only 62 per cent of the city’s 3.6 million elderly — aged 60 years and above — are fully vaccinated, and the rate among those aged above 80 years is only 15 per cent. The rate of those getting booster shots accounts for merely 38 per cent.