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Vaccines slowing COVID spread in nursing homes

According to early reports, vaccinations are having a profound impact on stopping the spread of COVID in Canadian nursing homes, and the people most vulnerable to the virus.

The National Post reports:

Outbreaks in long term care facilities have been stopped or prevented in the wake of residents receiving coronavirus shots, say doctors in British Columbia and Ontario [Canada].

In hard-hit Toronto, for instance, the number of new nursing home outbreaks is “way down,” and in homes with existing outbreaks, new cases seem to stop at about 21 days after the residents received their first vaccine dose, said Dr. Allison McGeer, one of Canada’s leading infectious-disease specialists.

Such results are obviously the hoped-for goal of a vaccination campaign, but the apparent success as Canada’s initial supply of vaccine peters out provides at least a glimmer of hope amid the continuing infection and death.

READ: ‘Reason to celebrate’: Early evidence suggests vaccines halting COVID outbreaks in nursing homes

At its peak in mid-January, the number of people with COVID in Ontario nursing homes was 2,800 including residents and staff. This past week, the number was less than half, 1,200.

According to a report by the US-based Heritage Foundation, the elderly in America are the ones most vulnerable to COVID.

The Heritage Foundation explains (Feb 3, 2021):

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is deadliest among older populations. In fact, through February 3, 93 percent of COVID-19 deaths nationwide have occurred among those ages 55 or older. Only 0.2 percent were younger than 25. This trend can also be found on the state level.

CDC data also show that Americans, regardless of age group, are far more likely to die of something other than COVID-19. Even among those in the most heavily impacted age group (85 and older), only 12.8 percent of all deaths since February 2020 were due to COVID-19.

READ: COVID-19 Deaths by Age

The following chart from the Heritage Foundation reveals deaths by age groups provided by the US Centers of Disease Control (CDC), effective Feb 3, 2021:

Death by age group Feb 3, 2021, Heritage Foundation

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