Stunning Vaccine Stat: 98.5% Of U.S. Seniors Have Had Shot

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 100% of Americans 65 and over have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. This has helped to increase the country's vaccination rate, while younger groups are still lagging behind.

On January 8, a pharmacist gave the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine to residents at the Emerald Court senior... [+] living community, Anaheim, California. MediaNews Group via Getty Images

The Key Facts

According to the CDC, 98.5% of adult 65-year-olds have had at least one vaccine dose by Wednesday. 85.8% of those over 65 are fully vaccinated. According to CDC data, 99.9% of adults 65-74 have had a first shot. 95.7% of seniors 75 and older are fully vaccinated (83%). This is far more than the 67.7% of Americans who have received at least one dose. It includes 79% of adults 12 years and over and 80.9% all adults. The proportion of younger Americans who are vaccinated is lower than that of older Americans. Among them, 57.3% of the 12-15-year-olds, 64.1% (16-17), 67% (18-24), 70.6% (25-39), 77% (25-39), 78.6% (40-49), 78.6% (78.6%) and 85.9% (50-64) received at least one dose. The high vaccination rates have led to a decline in cases among the over-65s. In January, 337 cases were reported per 100,000 people. This was before vaccines were available. However, cases among those 65 and older dropped to 157 per 100,000 in September, when there was a delta variant surge, and 64 per 100,000 as of November 6. The number of deaths has fallen even further, especially for people over 75. They have dropped from 53.5 per 100,000 people to 15 deaths per 100,000 in September to 0.7 per 100,000 in November.

What to Watch

It is unclear how many seniors will be eligible for booster shots. These shots are now approved for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. According to the CDC 32.4% have received a booster shot so far, compared to 14.4% for all Americans. Due to evidence that vaccines are less effective against Covid-19 infections over time, booster shots were recommended. However, they still provide protection against serious illness and death. It is possible that not all seniors receive a third shot. California officials expressed concern that the demand for booster shots has fallen below expectations, especially among seniors.

Important Background

Covid-19 is particularly dangerous for seniors. Evidence shows that older adults are more at risk of serious illness and death. They were also among the first to be eligible for the vaccine earlier in the year. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, adults 65 years and older accounted for 16% and 80% respectively of all Covid-19-related deaths as of September 29. Deaths have been particularly high in areas with lower vaccination rates. Older adults are at greater risk due to their lower vaccine hesitancy. A Morning Consult poll was conducted November 2-8 and found that only 12% of 65-year-olds are unsure about the vaccine, compared with 18% in March. Overall, 27% of adults were unsure.

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COVID-19 deaths among older adults during the Delta Surge were higher in states with lower vaccination rates (KFF).

What is the percentage of people who have died from COVID-19 in 65-year-olds? And how does it vary by state? (KFF)

In the midst of Nationwide Progress, Californians are receiving fewer Covid-19 booster shots than expected (Forbes).

75% of U.S. 75% of U.S. Seniors are Now Fully Vaccinated (Forbes).

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