Local governments can offer older people an incentive worth up to NT$500 for being vaccinated against COVID-19 from Thursday to April 10, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that to encourage people aged 65 or older to get vaccinated against COVID-19, local governments can offer them an incentive worth up to NT$500 when they receive a first, second or third vaccine dose.
Shinkong Wu Ho-su Memorial Hospital vice superintendent Hung Tzu-jen (洪子仁) told the center’s daily briefing that in the UK, 5,482 of the 3.03 million people infected with COVID-19 between Dec. 12 last year and Jan. 16 died, a case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.18 percent.
Photo courtesy of the CECC
A breakdown of the deaths by age and vaccination status showed that the CFR increased as the age group of the unvaccinated patients rose, he said.
While the CFR for unvaccinated patients under 18 years old was 0.002 percent, it increased to 9.66 percent for unvaccinated patients in their 70s, and to 23.558 percent for unvaccinated patients aged 80 or older, he added.
Fatalities were fewer among patients who received a booster dose, even in higher age groups, with a CFR of zero for patients under 18 years old to a CFR of 2.94 percent for patients aged 80 or older, he said.
In the group of patients aged 60 years or older, the CFR for unvaccinated patients was 11 times the CFR for patients of the same age group who received a booster, he added.
“A similar situation has been observed in Hong Kong,” Hung said.
However, of 1,153 deaths in Hong Kong between Jan. 1 and Saturday, only 92 people (8 percent) had received two vaccine doses, while 1,061 people (92 percent) were not fully vaccinated, he said.
The CFR for patients not fully vaccinated was 1.25 percent, 31 times the CFR for fully vaccinated patients, he said.
A breakdown by age and vaccination status showed that the CFR for those not fully vaccinated was several times higher than for those fully vaccinated: 20.5 times for those in their 50s, 17.7 times for those in their 60s, 9.5 times for those in their 70s, and 9.5 times for those aged 80 or older, Hung said.
Among Hong Kongers aged 80 or older, 51.15 percent have received a first dose, 30.93 percent a second dose and 1.6 percent a booster dose, Hung said.
Among Taiwanese aged 75 or older, 75.5 percent have received a first dose, 69.9 percent a second dose and 50.1 percent a booster dose, he said.
While the rates among older Taiwanese are higher than in Hong Kong, they are lower than among younger Taiwanese, he added.
“Generally, the CFR for people under the age of 50 is relatively low, regardless of their vaccination status, but it is clearly different in older people,” Hung said.
“Young people mainly get vaccinated to prevent the virus from spreading and to protect older people, but older people mainly get vaccinated to protect themselves, especially from severe complications and hospitalization,” Hung added.
Chen said that as of Sunday, the first-dose COVID-19 vaccination rate in Taiwan had reached 82.96 percent, full vaccination coverage was 77.17 percent and the booster dose rate was 44.4 percent.
Meanwhile, starting yesterday, the quarantine period was cut from 14 to 10 days for people who are required to isolate after coming into contact with infected individuals, as well as for all arrivals to Taiwan, including business travelers.
Additional reporting by CNA
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