A Significant Number of COVID-19 Victims Had Never Been Vaccinated, and 90% Were Aged 65 or Older

Seniors can still protect against the disease by getting a jab of the latest COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. Zach Zachariah

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Photo by Afif Ramdhasuma on Unsplash

During this past summer, the United States faced a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations. A new study, published in October, based on data from the COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), highlighted the following key findings:

  • In the period from January to August 2023, older adults (aged 65 and above) represented nearly 63% of COVID-related hospitalizations.
  • Only 23.5% of older adults hospitalized had up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • The admission rates for older adults surged, peaking during the week ending on August 26, reaching a rate 9 times higher than that of adults aged 18–64.
  • The 65 and older age group comprised 61% of ICU admissions and nearly 90% of COVID-19-related deaths.
  • Hospital admissions decreased for most other age groups during the same period.
  • Hospitalized individuals were generally suffering from two or more underlying health conditions, with a fourfold greater risk of dying.

As of the week ending October 14, the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker shows a slight increase of 0.1% in hospital admissions compared to the previous week. There was no change in COVID-19-related deaths. Notably, the U.S. has seen 1,151,435 COVID-19-related deaths.

In the United States, approximately 53 million adults, constituting around 16% of the population, fall into the vulnerable 65+ age group. Nationally, an average of 155 people succumb to COVID-19 every day, primarily those over 70 and with compromised immune systems.

Despite their heightened risk, federal data reveals that only about 43.3% of adults aged 65 and older received the previous bivalent booster shot, available from September 2022 to May of this year. Among those hospitalized, 16% had not received any COVID-19 vaccination at all.

The study highlights the seriousness of COVID-19 cases among older adults. Those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 upon admission to hospitals…

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Dr. Zach Zachariah

Ph.D. chemist with an M.B.A. | Enrolled Agent | Writes on science | economy | taxes | public interest topics | American politics | Indian-Americans | COVID-19