How Older Americans Show Us The Vaccines Work

How Older Americans Show Us The Vaccines Work

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(CNN)Covid-19 cases jumped 10% in the United States over the last week and the Delta variant could become the dominant strain. The variant is more transmissible than most other strains, but we also know that vaccines work well against it. 

There is clear evidence that the vaccines work well in the real world. People who are choosing not to get it are putting their lives — and those around them — at unnecessary risk. 

Preliminary data from a collection of states reveals that more than 99% of deaths over the last six months were among unvaccinated people, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said last week — without citing specifics.

    We can see how well the vaccines work in the broader case and death trends by looking at one of the groups most likely to get vaccinated: older Americans. 

      According to the CDC, Americans 50 years and older make up 27% of Covid-19 infections in preliminary June data. More complete data from May have them as 26% of all cases. 

        This is a significant shift from December 2020. Back then, 35% of all cases were among those ages 50 and older. Americans 50 years and older make up 36% of the population. 

        Of course, older people are more prone to serious illness and death, and we see that in the numbers. In May and June, 91% of Covid-19 related deaths were among those 50

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