Federal report links vaccination to decrease in COVID-related hospitalizations, death among seniors
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a new report on Tuesday that shows how effective COVID-19 vaccinations have been for people 65 and over this year.
The report indicates that a reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in seniors across the state has been linked to vaccination.
Before COVID-19 vaccines were available, HHS says nearly 80 percent of coronavirus deaths were among people ages 65 and older.
"It was those predisposed, 65 and older didn't have a lot of defenses,” said DHR Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Martinez. “They were in an institution like a nursing home."
But now, those numbers are decreasing. The report states vaccinations helped reduce cases of seniors hospitalized due to COVId-19 by close to 10,000.
Local doctors say numbers like these offer proof the vaccines are working, saying in a news release, “This report reaffirms what we hear routinely from states: COVID-19 vaccines save lives, prevent hospitalizations, and reduce infection.”
"This study really at least preliminarily tells us exactly what we knew and that is the vaccine works and it works very well, particularly with our most vulnerable population," Dr. Martinez said.
DHR Health says currently, most of the new coronavirus cases are either children under 12 or people under 65 who have not been vaccinated.
Although breakout cases do happen on occasion, Dr. Martinez says it's not the same.
"Those cases don't result in the death, or severe insignificant illness, long term hospitalization that we see with the others,” Dr. Martinez said.
And now with the booster shot, they expect to see it even less.
DHR Health is holding a vaccine clinic from Tuesday through Friday at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.