CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Early in the pandemic, a large number of those hospitalized for COVID-19 were elderly, but the landscape has shifted dramatically in recent months.
Cleveland Clinic physician Michelle Medina, MD, said vaccination is likely playing a role.
“We vaccinated a lot of the elderly population and so we’re seeing a decrease in the amount of severe disease and hospitalizations in that group,” said Dr. Medina.
According to Cleveland Clinic data, COVID-19 hospital admissions in all age groups are slowly trending downward as vaccine distribution continues, but people over 75 have seen the sharpest reduction.
Between January and May of 2021, the hospital saw an 88% drop in COVID-19 admissions in people 75 and older.
A similar trend was observed in people ages 55 to 75, with a 71% reduction in hospitalizations.
In addition, another data set shows 99% of people admitted for coronavirus between January and April of 2021 weren’t fully vaccinated.
Dr. Medina said vaccination efforts are now targeting younger people but the uptake is slow.
She stresses that vaccination is the best way to stop virus spread and stay out of the hospital.
“The more that we get people vaccinated, the more people are actually protected and the closer we can get to the end of the pandemic,” she explained.
Dr. Medina encourages everyone to consider vaccination and reminds us that the COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and highly effective in all age groups studied so far.