Only 24% of those dying had received bivalent COVID vaccine

Quick Summary: Who is getting sick and dying from COVID.  Age > 65 and not vaccinated.  Two Studies by the CDC linked in this article.

The COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) Surveillance Team estimated rates of COVID-related hospitalization, in-hospital death. The vaccination status among adults aged 65 and older in 98 counties in 13 states from January to August 2023.  They also identified the demographic and clinical characteristics of hospitalized patients in this age-group from January to June 2023.

From January to June, rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations among all adults decreased including among older adults.  The rates stayed elevated among older adults relative to younger ones.  These rates began rising in July 2023.

Hospitalization rates in COVID-19 patients aged 65 and older more than doubled over the study period.  This increaaded from 6.8 percent 100,000 during the week ending July 15 to 16.4 percent per 100,000 during the week ending August 26, 2023. Roughly one in six older adults hospitalized for COVID-19 were nursing home residents.

Hospitalization rates in COVID-19 patients aged 65 and older more than doubled over the study period.

Adults aged 65 and older accounted for 62.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 60.1% to 65.7%) of COVID-19 hospitalizations, 61.3% (95% CI, 54.7% to 67.6%) of intensive care unit admissions, and 87.9% (95% CI, 80.5% to 93.2%) of in-hospital deaths. Most hospitalized patients had multiple chronic conditions (90.3%; 95% CI, 87.2% to 92.8%), and only 23.5% (95% CI, 19.5% to 27.7%) had received the recommended bivalent (two-strain) vaccine. A total of 16% had not received any COVID-19 vaccines.

Adults with increased risk for COVID-19–associated hospitalization  include all adults aged ≥65 years. These adults need to reduce their risk for severe COVID-19 by receiving recommended COVID-19 vaccinations.  They need to adopt measures to reduce risk for contracting COVID-19 such as wearing masks.  They also need to seek prompt outpatient antiviral treatment after a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result.

The second study results

For the second study, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mined data from the National Healthcare Safety Network from 1,797 long-term care facilities (LTCs).  The research statistics from October 2022 to May 2023 evaluated demographic differences in primary and up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination status among residents.

Up-to-date status was considered receipt of a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine dose or completion of a primary vaccine series less than 2 months earlier. Over 99% of LTCs in the study were nursing homes. “Long-term care (LTC) facility residents are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection because of their often-advanced age, medical complexity, and congregate setting.

Up-to-date status was substantially lower in nursing home residents in the South (Region 6 of the US Department of Health and Human Services; 37.7%) and Southeast (Region 4; 36.5%) than among those in the Pacific Northwest (Region 10; 53.3%) and Mountain West (Region 8; 59.6%) regions.

Most recent guidance indicates that persons who are aged ≥65 years or who are immunocompromised should consider additional bivalent vaccine doses.

Greater proportions of residents aged 75 years and older were up to date than those aged 30 to 49 (46.0% vs 37.7%, respectively), and women were more likely to be current than men (44.6% vs 42.4%, respectively).

American Indian, Asian, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents were the most up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.  Their rates at 54.6%, 56.2%, and 60.6%, respectively. Current vaccination was lowest among Black (39.9%) and multiracial (42.2%) residents. A lower proportion of Hispanic residents than non-Hispanic residents were current with vaccines (36.5% vs 44.5%).

Who is getting sick and dying from COVID this is the solution

A new Strategy needed to increase vaccinations

In summary, new strategies to increase up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination among long term residents (LTR) need to  address geographic and racial differences.  The findings underscore the importance of improving factors contributing to these geographic and demographic differences.  The date needs to guide public health practice.  Better resource allocation needs to increase vaccinations.

Residents of [LTCs] should stay up to date with CDC-recommended COVID-19 vaccines. This includes getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine.  Current guidance indicates that persons who are aged ≥65 years or who are immunocompromised need to consider additional bivalent vaccine doses.