Story at a glance
- As a high-risk population, Americans older than 60 were prioritized during the initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
- Two-thirds of American senior citizens are fully vaccinated according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
- Now, fewer seniors are being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19.
The United States entered this year at the peak of one of the worst waves of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 567,352 Americans. Since then, however, COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped by 70 percent among older Americans, who are one of the most vulnerable populations, and deaths have fallen by half, according to recent reports.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that two-thirds of adults older than 65 have been fully vaccinated, and nearly 81 percent have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Some older Americans with underlying conditions may be unable to receive a vaccine, but the population is nearing a point of herd immunity — at least amongst themselves.
“What you’re seeing there is exactly what we hoped and wanted to see: As really high rates of vaccinations happen, hospitalizations and death rates come down,” Jodie Guest, a public health researcher at Emory University, told The Associated Press.
But younger Americans still pose a threat — even to those who are inoculated against the coronavirus, as the vaccines are not 100 percent effective — and remain largely unvaccinated. Still, recent figures are encouraging, especially since Americans older than 80 have accounted for a majority of deaths throughout the pandemic, according to the CDC.
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