Fewer Covid deaths among over-80s than 60-79-year-olds for first time since July

The trend coincides with the rollout of booster doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

A volunteer adds hearts to the Covid memorial wall in Westminster, central London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
A volunteer adds hearts to the Covid memorial wall in Westminster, central London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

People aged 80 and over are accounting for fewer registered Covid-19 deaths than those aged 60 to 79 for the first time since the summer, new analysis shows.

A total of 42.5% of deaths involving coronavirus registered in England and Wales in the week ending November 19 were among over-80s, while 44.6% were 60 to 79-year-olds.

Over-80s had accounted for more than half (50.4%) of deaths as recently as the week ending October 29.

But this age group has now been overtaken by people aged 60-79 for the first time since the start of July.

The figures have been compiled by the PA news agency using the latest data on death registrations from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

HEALTH Coronavirus Deaths
(PA Graphics)

They show a steady drop in recent weeks in the proportion of deaths that are in the over-80s age group.

The trend coincides with the rollout of booster doses of Covid-19 vaccine, which began among the oldest groups at the end of September.

Boosters have been estimated to give more than 90% protection against symptomatic Covid-19 among adults aged 50 and over two weeks after the jab has been given.

Protection was found to be 93.1% for over-50s who had first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 94.0% for those who had Pfizer-BioNTech, according to findings published by the UK Health Security Agency.

At the height of the second wave of the virus, in the week ending January 29, people aged 80 and over accounted for 60.5% of deaths involving Covid-19 registered in England and Wales, compared with 32.2% for 60 to 79-year-olds.

But by the summer the figure for over-80s had dropped to around half its second-wave peak, dipping to 33.9% in the week to July 2, behind people aged 60-79 on 44.0%.

The following week saw over-80s move ahead of 60-79 year-olds again, and this pattern continued until the most recent week of data.

HEALTH Coronavirus Deaths
(PA Graphics)

A total of 952 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending November 19 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, the ONS said.

This is down 7% on the previous week and is the first week-on-week fall in deaths since early October.

There were 92 care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week to November 19, down from 101 in the previous week.

In total, 44,199 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.

This includes deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

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