Healthcare

Study: Older Americans saw larger declines in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths after vaccine became available

Getty

Older Americans experienced larger declines in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths after the vaccine became available compared to those aged 18 to 49, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study. 

The study published on Tuesday examined the downward trend in cases, emergency department visits, hospital admissions and deaths among those 65 and older since before the vaccine was authorized in December.

“From November 29, 2020, to May 1, 2021, COVID-19 incidence, ED visits, hospital admissions, and deaths declined more in older adults, who had higher vaccination coverage, than in younger adults, who had lower coverage,” the study reads. 

The ratio of cases, emergency department visits, hospital admissions and deaths among those 65 and older compared to 18- to 49-year-olds decreased across the board since the time period when vaccines were not available. 

From the period between Nov. 29 and Dec. 12, before the Food and Drug Administration authorized any vaccine, to between April 18 and May 1, the ratio of cases among the older age group to the younger age group decreased 40 percent. 

The ratios of emergency department visits and deaths from those 65 and older to those 18 to 49 years old reduced by 59 percent and 55 percent, respectively, in the same time period. For hospital admissions, the ratio between those 70 and older and the younger age group dropped 65 percent. 

At the same time, a higher portion of the older population, 82 percent, had received at least one dose of a vaccine by May 1, compared to 42 percent of 18- to 49-year-olds. Sixty-nine percent of those 65 and older and 26 percent of 18- to 49-year-olds were fully vaccinated by May 1. 

The CDC concluded that the difference among the age groups shows the effectiveness of the vaccines after the population with a higher rate of vaccinations saw a greater decline in cases, hospitalizations and fatalities.

“By comparing data from November and December of 2020 before vaccine rollout with data from April and May after vaccine rollout and by stratifying the data by age groups, we were able to see the critical contribution on reducing COVID-19 cases, serious illness and death especially among those over age 65,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters during a briefing.

The FDA granted the first emergency authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14 for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

In the early stages of the vaccination rollout, older adults were prioritized to get their COVID-19 shots since they were more likely to get seriously ill or die from the virus. 

The CDC reported that as of Monday, 86.4 percent of those 65 and older have received at least one dose and 75.6 percent are fully vaccinated.

Out of all American adults, 63.7 percent have gotten at least one dose and 53 percent are fully vaccinated.

Tags age CDC CDC study Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine Pandemic Rochelle Walensky Vaccine
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video