Only half of eligible Americans have received their first COVID reminder

As fall approaches, there is renewed pressure to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19, especially the elderly and vulnerable, who continue to bear the brunt of the national COVID-19 crisis. .

Although more than 61 million people, over the age of 50, are eligible to receive their second COVID-19 booster shot, only a third have actually done so, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Similarly, less than half of Americans over the age of 5 who are eligible to receive their first booster have received their additional injection.

“One of the key messages coming out of this moment is: if you’re 50 or over and haven’t had your shot this year… it’s absolutely essential that you get out there and get one now.” , said the White House COVID-19. coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told ABC “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz last month.

Jangled Miims, 64, left, received his COVID-19 booster shot on the campus of the Clayton Early Learning Center in Denver, Aug. 5, 2022.

Hyoung Chang/Denver Post via Getty Images

Although the immunity provided by vaccines continues to decline over time, CDC data shows that booster doses of COVID-19 help to significantly increase protection against severe forms of COVID-19 disease and death, especially among older Americans.

Among people aged 50 and over, unvaccinated people had a risk of dying from COVID-19 that was 29 times higher than their fully vaccinated and double-boosted peers.

In April, the risk of death was 42 times higher among the unvaccinated. Despite the fact that there has been a decline in the effectiveness of the vaccine, the data shows that the injections still contribute significantly to protecting against serious diseases.

Among people aged 50 and over, those vaccinated with a booster dose had a risk of dying from COVID-19 that was 4 times higher than those who were fully vaccinated and doubly vaccinated.

Older Americans — especially those over 70 — are hospitalized at a significantly higher rate than all other age groups. In comparison, people aged 70 and over in the United States enter the hospital 10.5 times more often than people aged 18 to 29.

PHOTO: In this April 8, 2022, file photo, a 50-year-old, immunocompromised resident receives a second booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in Waterford, Michigan.

In this file photo from April 8, 2022, a 50-year-old, immunocompromised resident receives a second booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in Waterford, Michigan.

Emily Elconin/Reuters

On average, about 6,100 virus-positive Americans are now entering hospitals each day. There are currently around 43,000 patients infected with the virus in hospital across the country.

The total number of hospitalized patients has also been at a plateau for several weeks. However, the numbers remain significantly lower than the national peak, when there were more than 160,000 patients in hospital with the virus.

Additionally, while the total number of deaths also remains far lower than other parts of the pandemic, hundreds of Americans are still dying from COVID-19 every day.

On average, nearly 400 American deaths from COVID-19 are reported each day, and in the past seven days the United States has reported more than 2,700 deaths, according to the CDC.

ABC News

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