The downward trend in infections among nursing home residents in the Netherlands is continuing. The number of infections in nursing homes has dropped below the national average infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants. RIVM had already reported that the decrease indicates that vaccination is having a beneficial effect against coronavirus infections.
Eight weeks after the first vaccinations were administered, the impact of vaccination in nursing homes is clearly visible. By now, nearly all nursing home residents have received the first vaccination, and some have also received the second. All nursing home residents who were not vaccinated in the first round, for example due to illness, will be offered a vaccination at the end of March.
There has been no visible increase in infections among elderly people living at home; the first people in that group were vaccinated at the end of January. It is too early to say whether this is an effect of the vaccinations.
Figure 1.Number of reported SARS-CoV-2 infections per 100,000 inhabitants per age group and week, in elderly people living at home and nursing home residents, weeks 1 through 10, 2021. Source: Osiris.
Decrease in hospital admissions among older age groups
The number of hospital admissions is also decreasing among people aged 80 years and over, probably due to the start of vaccination in this group. Unfortunately, this has not relieved pressure on hospitals, since patients who are admitted to hospital are generally younger than that. Figure 2 shows that the percentage of hospital admissions among people over 80 has decreased significantly compared to other age groups since vaccination started. This indicates that the vaccination programme is having a positive impact.
Figure 2. Age groups as percentage of total new hospital admissions per calendar week, week 45, 2020 through week 10, 2021. Source: NICE Foundation