The major drive to vaccinate the aged people between the age group of 61 years and above is showing a positive effect on the health of the senior citizens of West Bengal. The fatality rate among the aged people have come down considerably in the last two months and the state government is hopeful that they will be able to protect the senior citizens from the deadly Covid-19 in the next six months.
The state government started the vaccination process in the state from January 16 but vaccination among the senior citizens particularly among the people who are above 60 years old started from March 1 onwards. If we take close look at the data chart provided by the state government, we will find that when on March 1 the fatality rate among the citizens between the age bracket of 61 to 75 was 4.9 per cent on March 1 it came down to 3.9 per cent on May 1 and on May 15 it reduced further to 3.4 per cent.
Not only that, the vaccination process is showing marked improvement in the health system of the people who are above 75 years of age, convincingly more vulnerable to the disease. The data sheet shows that when on March 1 the fatality rate of the people above 75 years was as high as 11.3 per cent, it came down to 9.2 per cent on May 1 and reduced further to 7.9 per cent on May 15.
“This is marked improvement and we are hopeful that if we carry out the vaccination process in this way, we will be able to immunize the senior citizens of the state within the next short period. What I would like to mention is that we have an improved treatment which is reducing the fatality rate in general. What we need is an adequate supply of vaccines to carry on our mission to safeguard the life of the senior people of our state,” Director of Health Services Ajay Chakraborty said.
However, though the vaccination showed a direct effect on the senior citizens, it didn’t not have that much of an effect on the fatality rate of people between the age group of 45 years to 60 years. When in March the fatality rate of the people between this age group stood at 1.6 per cent it remained the same on April 1 and reduced marginally on May 1 coming down to 1.3 per cent and on May 15 it came down further to 1.1 per cent.
When asked about it, Chakraborty said: “We had the primary target of saving the lives of the senior citizens who are more vulnerable to the disease and that we have done effectively. In the first wave the middle-aged people were not that much affected but this age group is getting affected and so the fatality rate is also increasing”.
The state health department officials are, however, afraid that the recent lockdown announced by the state government might have an effect on the vaccination drive going along in the state. “With the imposition of lockdown and the suspension of the transport system it will be difficult for the senior citizens to come to the vaccination centres and this might hamper the process of vaccination,” another senior official said.