A new age-based modeling study revealed that vaccinating people over 60 is the best way to mitigate the Covid-19 crisis.
Although vaccination of younger adults is projected to avert the greatest incidence of disease, vaccinating older adults will most effectively reduce deaths, the analysis found.
Kate Bubar and colleagues, researchers of the study, intended to quantify the impact of Covid-19 vaccine prioritisation strategies on the cumulative incidence of the disease, mortality, and years of life lost.
In one of the modeling strategies, cumulative disease incidence was minimised by prioritising people between the age of 20-49 years. While another modeling strategy revealed that mortality and years of life lost were minimised when the vaccine was prioritised to adults over 60.
This suggests optimal benefit comes from the prioritisation of older individuals. If a vaccine is less efficacious in older adults, however, priority could be given to younger age groups, the authors said.
The researchers noted several limitations of their study, including that it considers variation in disease risk only by age. They maintained that “other considerations are crucial, from the equity in allocation between countries to disparities in access to healthcare, including vaccination, that varies by neighborhood.”
The study further suggested the optimal approach for Covid-19 vaccination is different from the optimal strategy for influenza vaccination, which indicates giving vaccines to school-age children as the priority.