The National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia (NCDC) has published its eighth data-rich analysis of COVID-19 spread in Georgia.
The report, published on February 3, tracks the progress of the virus, while also sharing observations about the vaccination drive and its effectiveness, during the period from January 2020 through December 2021.
Civil.ge offers a quick summary of insights and findings in the report.
Infections and Fatalities
As of January 1, 936,844 persons (228,410 in 2020, 708,434 in 2021) had tested positive for Covid-19 in Georgia. The rate of cumulative incidence – measuring disease frequency during a given period of time in the population – was 6,135.6 infected persons per 100,000 throughout 2020 and 19,000 per 100,000 in 2021.
As of January 1, 2022, 13,108,645 COVID-19 tests were carried out in Georgia, of which 5,883,013 were PCR and 7,225,632 were antigen tests.
For the reporting period, the total test-positivity rate – showing the ratio between who got tested for the virus and who tested positive for it – was 7.1%. The highest total positivity rate of 2020 was 25.2% in November, and of 2021 – 9.9% in August.
Of those who tested positive, 42.8% were men and 57.2% women in 2020. The shares were 43.9% and 56.1%, respectively, in 2021.
Over the scope of the two years, 159,977 children and adolescents (23,554 in 2020, 136,426 in 2021) were infected with the virus, with cumulative incidence per 10,000 shooting up from 253.7 in 2020 to 1,469.7 in 2021.
There were in total 13,860 COVID-related deaths during the reporting period. 52% of recorded fatalities were among men and 48% among women, while 39.2% of the deceased were younger than 70, 31.7% were over 79, and 29.3% were in the 70-79 age group.
50.2% of those deceased suffered from various chronic diseases, with 57% having cardiovascular illnesses or hypertension, 25.9% – diabetes and 5.6% – oncologic diseases.
In the reporting period, in 81.1% of fatal cases, the disease was severed with underlying pneumonia.
As for the medical personnel that contracted the virus, the fatality rate was 0.4%, with 143 deaths reported.
The NCDC report said that COVID-related deaths had a bearing on excess mortalities since in October-December 2020 in the 60+ age group, but had no impact in case the case of those under 60 throughout the year.
Meanwhile, in 2021, excess mortality was more than the average of 2015-2019 in the case of those under 60 in August-December, while for the 60+ age group it was higher all-year-long.
After rolling out vaccination against COVID on March 15, 2021, the NCDC said as of January 1, 2022, 714,002 people had been fully vaccinated with Pfizer, 400,840 with Sinopharm, 114,567 with Sinovac and 61,561 with AstraZeneca.
In the case of the full vaccination, the most jabs were administered in the 60-79 and 40-59 age groups, 47.5% and 39.2%, respectively. As for all vaccine shots administered, Tbilisi came first with 48.9% of all jabs received countrywide.
During the reporting period, there were 1,929 recorded cases of adverse events following immunization (AEFI), which are untoward medical occurrences that follow immunization and do not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of the vaccine.
Of the amount, only 206 were marked serious. Of such events, 77 were reported after receiving Sinopharm jab, 57 after Pfizer, 38 after Astrazeneca and 34 after Sinovac.
Upon examination of the cases, the NCDC said 51 were caused by fear of vaccination, 45 were adverse reactions to the vaccine, 34 were found to be unrelated to immunization. The authorities were uncertain about the cause of 20 serious AEFIs, and 1 case could not be classified at all.
7 AEFI-related lethal outcomes were recorded, in five of which no causal links with the immunization were established. The examination was pending in one case, and was suspended in another.
Relying on data available from March 15, 2021, to December 31, 2021, NCDC said that of the 1,151,070 fully vaccinated people, only 74,804 tested positive for COVID. According to the report, this means that fully vaccinated persons are 7.7 times less likely to get infected compared to the unvaccinated, making full vaccines 86.94% effective against infections. Booster doses increased this number to 99.66%.
The vaccines also decreased the possibility of hospitalization by 90.56%, and 434 of those vaccinated had to be placed in intensive care units compared to 10,805 unvaccinated people in the period. The rate rose to 99.9% in the case of vaccination.
Of the 10,532 fatalities reported from March 15 – December 31, only 385 were vaccinated. According to NCDC, this means that two jabs were 94.28% effective against COVID-related death, and in case of receiving an additional booster jab the number increased to 99.78%.
The report includes a brief chapter analyzing data on then relatively few recorded Omicron cases from December 14, 2021, to January 23, 2022. In the period, 1,532 cases of the strain had been confirmed, of which 900 patients had already recovered.
The NCDC said that upon surveying 1,151 Omicron patients, their average age was 33.86. The youngest patient was three months old, and the oldest was 87 years old.
50% (576) of the patients were fully vaccinated, while 36.1% (415) had not received any doses.
According to the survey, 38 of those infected with the Omicron hospital were hospitalized and there were in total three reported fatalities.