Washington (AFP) Hospitalizations among older Americans have fallen by more than 70% since the start of the year, strong evidence of the success of the vaccination campaign. Now, the task is to get more young people in the country to get vaccinated.
The decrease in severe cases among those 65 years of age and older is so remarkable that the hospitalization rate among that vaccinated group dropped dramatically to the level of the next younger group, those between the ages of 50 and 64.
This data is particularly encouraging given that the elderly account for 8 in 10 deaths from COVID-19 since the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States.
Overall, deaths from COVID-19 in the United States have dropped to an average of 700 cases per day, compared to a peak of more than 3,400 deaths recorded in mid-January. In total, about 570,000 people have died from the Coronavirus in the United States.
“What we’re seeing is exactly what we expected and wanted to see: as vaccination rates go up, hospitalization and mortality rates go down,” said Judy Geist, a public health expert at Emory University.
The trend mirrors what is happening in other countries with high vaccination rates, such as Israel and Great Britain, and is in stark contrast to the worsening crisis in places like Brazil and India, which are lagging far behind in vaccination campaigns.
According to federal government statistics, the number of hospitalizations has decreased by 60% overall, but most significantly among the elderly, who have been eligible for vaccinations for a longer period and received them enthusiastically.
Two-thirds of older adults in the United States have already received two doses of the vaccine, compared to only a third of adults. More than 80% of the elderly received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to just over 50% of all adults.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the hospitalization rate among people age 65 or older is about 14 per 100,000 people, citing a monitoring system that collects data from more than 250 hospitals in 14 states.
However, the demand for vaccines in the country appears to be declining, although injections are now available to all adults. Average daily doses taken appear to have dropped from 3.2 million to 2.9 million in mid-April, according to CDC figures.