There’s a rumor that COVID-19 only has serious consequences for older individuals. Since April 3, however, nationwide data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have indicated that people ages 18–49 have made up a greater proportion of COVID-19 associated hospitalizations than people ages 65 and older.
For the week ending on May 22, people ages 18–49 made up 38.5% of all COVID-19 associated hospitalizations across the country. Conversely, people ages 65 and older only made up 32.2%.
So, what gives?
More older individuals are fully vaccinated
For starters, more people ages 65 and older are fully vaccinated nationwide. Data from the CDC reveals that more than 76% of people ages 65–74 are fully vaccinated across the country, whereas only 31.9% of people ages 18–24 are fully vaccinated. Additionally, less than 50% of people who are 25–49 are fully vaccinated.
As reiterated time and time again by the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the U.S. are safe and effective. Folks who are fully vaccinated have a significantly smaller risk of contracting COVID-19 and experiencing severe complications from the disease.
That’s why it makes sense that, as more people have become fully vaccinated, they’ve made up a smaller proportion of COVID-19 associated hospitalizations across the country.
Underlying health conditions
But vaccinations aren’t the only variable to consider. Underlying health conditions also play a part.
For example, individuals who are overweight, managing diabetes, heart conditions or chronic kidney conditions — just to name a few — are at higher risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19.
That’s why it’s important that all people managing such health conditions — regardless of age — continue abiding by preventive safety measures like masking, physical distancing and avoiding crowded indoor spaces until they receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
With school ending and the summer upon us, many younger folks have been eager to hang out with their friends and make full use of the good weather. With more people fully vaccinated and younger individuals thinking COVID-19 won’t have as much of an impact on them, many in this age group have let their guard down.
The reality is though, we’re not out of the woods just yet.
The safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use have been a valuable tool in our journey back to normality, but with many people still unvaccinated, there is still a risk of COVID-19 transmission in our community.
According to the CDC’s Daily Activities and Going Out webpage, the longer and more closely you interact with others, the greater the chance that COVID-19 will spread.
While COVID-19 cases have been steadily falling throughout the country, it’s important that people of all ages continue to abide by safety measures until they are fully vaccinated.
Schedule a vaccine appointment
Vaccination is the safest and most effective way for all of us to get back to doing the things we love. If you are at least 12 years of age, you are eligible to get vaccinated in Oregon.
To find a vaccine provider who offers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — which is authorized for use in anyone who is 12 and older — select the vaccine type on the Get Vaccinated Oregon tool or use the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Vaccines.gov.
Alternatively, you can search for vaccines on the Find a COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon webpage.