Older Americans are Disproportionately Impacted by COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Americans in different ways. Older adults are among the most vulnerable in our fight against the virus. That risk increases with age and for individuals with certain medical conditions.
- Risk for a severe case of COVID-19 increases as you get older, and the greatest risk is among those over the age of 85.1
- More than 81% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65.
- The number of deaths among people over age 65 is 80 times higher than the number of deaths among people aged 18-29.
- Underlying medical conditions can put adults at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19. That risk is greater with certain conditions, such as being overweight or obese, smoking, or having a history of smoking.3
- The pandemic has only exacerbated the complications of advanced age and known chronic conditions. This is particularly true in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, where disease can spread quickly. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 754,538 cases and 142,327 deaths from COVID-19 in nursing facilities.4
Building trust and confidence and ensuring safe access to COVID-19 vaccines for older Americans must be a top priority.
Older Americans have spent months at home, limiting their activities and denying them, their families and communities time together. As we work to ensure this vulnerable population has access to COVID-19 vaccines, it is critical that they have access to information and dialogue about vaccines.
While COVID-19 has impacted every American community, it has not impacted all individuals the same. We must all do our part to protect our parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors.
1 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html (8/2/21)
2 https://www.cdc.gov/aging/covid19/covid19-older-adults.html (8/2/21)
3 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html (12/14/21)