Coronavirus vaccinations began in late 2020 and vaccination coverage has gradually improved around the world. Recently, however, there has been a growing amount of reports of coronavirus infections among people who have already been vaccinated twice. Although vaccines have been shown to be effective, they don’t provide full protection against the virus.
Corona infections have occurred in nursing homes, although the majority of the elderly have been vaccinated twice
The coronavirus has recently spread in nursing homes, although most elderly people have already been vaccinated twice. As an example, there has been an increase in epidemics in nursing homes in Finland and Sweden during August and September 2021. The coronavirus has also spread in Sweden in several different nursing homes among residents who have already been fully vaccinated.
“This is because vaccines do not provide 100% protection. Thus, some people can become infected even though they have been vaccinated”, comments Anders Tegnell, a state epidemiologist at the Swedish Public Health Agency.
According to Anders Lindblom, an infectious disease doctor, the vaccine protection of those affected may have been weakened because it has been months since the second vaccination. In Sweden, like many other countries, third vaccine shots are being considered to prevent a reduction in vaccine protection.
Israel’s vaccination program was one of the fastest in the world, with more than half of the population vaccinated in about two months. Until a few months ago, the corona situation there was quite good - there were even days when zero new infections were reported. Recently, however, corona infections in Israel have risen sharply despite good vaccine coverage. At the end of August, the country's highest infection rates were reported, 12,113 cases per day, and the deteriorating situation has already led to third doses of vaccine in Israel.
Vaccines do not provide full protection, so other precautions are still necessary
Professor Lawrence Young explains in an article by the CNBC that infections in vaccinated people are simply explained by the fact that no vaccine provides 100% protection. In addition, the protection afforded by the vaccine decreases over time. This explains the infections, especially among the elderly, as they have often been among the first ones to receive vaccines. One reason for the infections is also new virus variants that spread easier than before.
"Although the two vaccines generally provide good protection against the severe form of COVID-19, it seems that the protection is not as strong in the elderly as in the younger ones. Therefore, it is important that the elderly will have as little exposure to coronaviruses as possible," says Laura Pikkarainen, Medical Director of Hospital Services, Helsinki.
Because vaccinated individuals can become infected and infect others, other protective measures are still essential. Although coronavirus infections have been shown to be milder in vaccinated individuals compared to non-vaccinated individuals, the risk of infection still needs to be addressed.
In addition to the third vaccine, an effective way to protect the elderly from the coronavirus is to clean the air from viruses effectively.
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Air purification is a scientifically proven way to minimize airborne infections along with other precautions. According to a scientific study carried out by VTT, Genano air purifiers eliminate 99.999% of indoor air microbes. Cleaning the indoor air can remove viruses from the indoor air and thus bring more security to nursing homes, workplaces, canteens and other spaces where people gather.
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Helsingin sanomat 17.9.2021, Koronapotilaita kuollut hoivalaitoksissa