Pensioners face a rapid increase in Covid-19 risk of death from illness in the UK

Pensioners face a rapid increase in Covid-19 risk of death from illness in the UK

The United Kingdom (UK) Government’s chief scientific adviser has explained why elderly people/pensioners are more likely to suffer from the COVID-19 coronavirus during an interview with the BBC’s Today Programme.

Sir Patrick Vallance outlined that the mortality rate of COVID-19 cases for people over the age of 80 is around eight percent, he then contrasted this with the mortality rate for children under which is “essentially zero”.

The Government chief scientific adviser stated that this was due to the likelihood of people over the age of 80 to have co-existing illnesses in comparison to any other demographic.


He said: “Older people are vulnerable to all sorts of illnesses more than younger people so it is a bit of aging which makes you vulnerable. There is definitely a situation where if you do have other co-existing illnesses you are more likely to suffer from this in terms of mobility and mortality.

“So the death rate in this disease changes quite rapidly from essentially zero in children, up to eight or so percent in people over the age of 80. There is quite a steep increase after the age of about 60 and a much steeper increase in people with co-existing illnesses.”

Earlier, Sir Patrick Vallance told ITV’s Peston that a vaccine for COVID-19 is over a year away.

“A vaccine that can be used generally – we’d be very lucky to get one within a year. The Government’s chief scientific adviser added that it would be used “to protect the most vulnerable first”.

Sir Patrick explained that children that are infected with coronavirus may not show symptoms as they experience a “very, very mild illness” compared to older people.

“School closures are one of the things people look at, it’s not the most obviously or necessarily the way in which you’ll get the most change,” he added.

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