Declines in US Covid-19 cases, emergency department visits, hospital admissions and deaths were largest in age groups that were most vaccinated and show how vaccinations are working to fight the coronavirus, according to a new study published Tuesday in the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
CDC researchers calculated the rates of Covid-19 cases, emergency department visits, hospital admissions and deaths by age group between Nov. 29 and Dec.12, before vaccines were available, and April 18 to May 1, after vaccines had been available for several months.
Covid-19 incidence was 69% lower among all adults during April 18 to May 1 when compared with the prevaccination period. For people age 65 and over, 50 to 64 and 18 to 49, it was 79%, 71% and 66% lower, respectively.
Emergency department visits for Covid-19 per 100,000 visits during the latter time frame were 59% lower among all adults when compared to the prevaccination period. People 65 and older had the largest change – 77% lower.
For hospital admissions, when compared with the prevaccination period, overall adult Covid-19 hospital admission rates were 63% lower in April 18 to May 1, again with the largest change – 78% – happening among people age 65 and older.
The study notes that although hospital admissions remained highest among people age 70 and over, the proportion of adult Covid-19 hospital admissions among that age group decreased from 45.6% in the first time period to 27.6% during the second.
People age 65 and older had the highest mortality, but the proportion of Covid-19 deaths that occurred in this group decreased from 84.2% during the prevaccination period to 68%.
“Comparing the 2-week prevaccination period with 2 weeks in late April, declines were significantly greater among older adults, who had higher vaccination coverage, than younger adults, who had lower coverage,” said the report.
The study suggests that tailored efforts from states and local jurisdictions to increase vaccine coverage among all groups could help to further reduce Covid-19 cases and severe outcomes. The efforts should include effective communication of the benefits of vaccination and ensuring equitable access, the study said.