COVID-19-Related Mortality amongst Physicians in Italy: Trend Pre- and Post-SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination Campaign
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Abstract: Globally, there has been a high burden of COVID-19-related mortality amongst physicians and other healthcare workers during the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Fortunately, anti-COVID19 vaccination campaigns have helped to protect frontline workers and reduce COVID-19-related mortality amongst this occupational group. We analyzed COVID-19-related mortality data for doctors in Italy and compared the crude mortality rate between March–May 2020 (i.e., the beginning of the pandemic in Italy, with the highest rates of COVID-19-related deaths) and the same time period in March–May 2021 (high vaccination coverage amongst Italian physicians). The mortality rate was 12 times higher in March–May 2020 compared to the same time period after the start of the Italian vaccination campaign. Moreover, there was a strong inverse correlation between the number of deaths and the cumulative number of vaccine doses administered in the Italian population. Although non-pharmaceutical interventions, virus evolution and environmental factors probably had an effect, our analysis clearly supports the hypothesis that the vaccination campaign helped to protect Italian physicians and reduce COVID-19-related mortality. The latest available death trends from September to October 2021 for both physicians and the general population are also in favor of the need for the third vaccine dose, currently underway for the majority of the population at risk.