With a high vaccination rate against Covid-19, Singapore is in a good place, yet there are many lives still exposed and at stake. As a public service, we republish the 28 Oct 2021 article by Ho Ching from her Facebook page. It is an important call to action for those who are still vulnerable and why. 

Yes, it is true that on a per million population, we are among the lowest in the world.

We have gone above NZ and HK, as we transit to living with covid.

And yes, the real killers are not the virus itself.

Why?

Bcos we have very good vaccines which can drastically reduce the worst outcomes from covid infection.

Among the unvaccinated 80++ year olds, over 15% of infected will go into ICU or die; over 13% will die. This is based on Sg data from 1 May to 16 Oct 2021, published by MOH.

This means out of that 15.5% who went to ICU or die, 13.3% are those who died.

In other words, most of those unvaccinated 80++ year olds didn’t survive. Over 85%.

HoChing10.21
Covid ICU 10.21

ICU is where every patient is closely monitored realtime, intubated for air and drip fed with nutrients. They are watched 24/7, and their vital signs are monitored and hooked up to alarms if any dangers pop up, whether heart, blood pressure or oxygen.

And what does a 13.3% death rate mean?

It means 1 out of every 7~8 unvaccinated 80++ year old will die among those infected.

On the other hand, what happens for our vaccinated 80++ year olds?

Yup, there is no perfect protection, and the risks remains the highest for the oldest among the vaccinated too.

Among the vaccinated 80++ year olds, 2% went to ICU or died; 1.6% died.

And what does 1.6% death rate mean?

It means 1 out about 60 infected but vaccinated 80++ year olds will die.

This is a reduction of deaths among the 80++ year olds of 8~10 times just by vaccination.

Boosters for our vaccinated old folks will reduce this further.

The same story is repeated the folks in their 70s and 60s.

For the infected in their 70s:

Unvaccinated death rate of 4.9% or 1 in 20;

Partially vaxxed death rate of 4.1% or 1 in 20+;

Fully vaxxed death rate if 0.31% or 1 in over 300.

This is a reduction of 15 times in risk of death when they are vaccinated.
For the infected in their 60s:

Unvaccinated death rate of 2.9% or 1 in 30+;

Partially vaxxed death rate of 0.68% or 1 in about 150;

Fully vaxxed death rate of 0.06% or 1 in over 1,600.

Vaccination lowers the risk of death by about 50 times.

It is even better for the infected folks in their 50s:

Unvaxxed death rate of 0.31% or 1 in 320+;

Partially vaxxed death rate of 0.48% or 1 in 100+;

Fully vaxxed death rate of 0.01 or 1 in 10,000.

Vaccination lowers the risk of death by over 30 times.

So vaccination saves lives.

And what is our challenge with our unvaccinated seniors?

We now have about 70,000 seniors who are not yet vaccinated.

Population wise, the folks in their 60s are about equal number to the folks 70s and above.

Suppose we have balance of unvaccinated seniors as follows:

35,000 in their 60s

20,000 in their 70s

15,000 in their 80s and older

2.9% of 35,000 = 1.015

4.9% of 20,000 = 980

13.3% of 15,000 = 1,995

Total : 3,990

In other words, we have potentially 4,000 deaths among our unvaccinated seniors.

This is about the number of deaths from pneumonia annually in Sg.

And the folks who prevent their elders from being vaccinated, or who spread lies claiming vaccinations prevent people from going to heaven?

They are not just liars, crooks or gullible frauds.

They are mass murderers, when they deliberately spread fake news and offer snake oil cures.

We are who we are, trying to cross into living with Covid with the least casualties possible.

We are who we are, trying to bring as many people as possible safely across the treacherous waters of Delta.

With Delta, all of us will be splashed. We just want everyone to have a good life vest so that the least number of people will drown as we do the crossing.

We are who we are, trying especially to help as many of our seniors to cross safely, bcos we are a filial people, and we want to celebrate many more birthdays with our elders, and want them to leave us as peacefully as they can when their time comes, no less than what we would wish for ourselves.

So folks, don’t give up!

Let’s try again to help that aunt, that grandpa, that brother, that neighbour or friend, the parent or patient, to get vaccinated.


Ho Ching was CEO of Temasek Holdings for 17 years, and is the spouse of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. She posts frequently on her Facebook page here.

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