To describe the variation in COVID-19 mortality among residents of Cali, Colombia, in the second wave of the pandemic, before vaccines, and in the fourth wave, with vaccination roll-out in process, taking into account variables of sex, age group, comorbidities, and interval between onset of symptoms and death, and to estimate the number of deaths averted by vaccination.
A cross-sectional study of second wave and fourth wave deaths and vaccination coverage. The frequencies of attributes of deceased population in the two waves were compared, including comorbidities. Machado’s method was used to calculate an estimate of the number of deaths averted in the fourth wave.
There were 1 133 deaths in the second wave and 754 deaths in the fourth wave. It was calculated that approximately 3 763 deaths were averted in the fourth wave in Cali in the context of vaccination roll-out.
The decline in COVID-19-associated mortality observed supports the continuation of the vaccination program. Given the lack of data to explain other possible reasons for this decline, such as on the severity of novel viral variants, the limitations of the study are discussed.