Senior Covid Deaths, US Kids Have Antibodies, Covid Boosters Prevent Deaths, World Covid Stats, More

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Seniors top list of COVID-19 deaths this summer: analysis

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More seniors than any other age group died from COVID-19 this past summer amid a disease surge fueled by COVID-19 subvariants, according to an analysis published Thursday from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

The foundation analyzed COVID-19 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and found that death rates rose much faster for Americans older than 65, despite widespread vaccine coverage within the group.

  • Between April and July of 2022, the number of coronavirus-related deaths among seniors rose above 11,000 in July and August. While deaths rose for those under 65 as well, the total was about five to six times smaller for younger Americans.
  • In April of this year, 1,306 under the age of 65 died, according to CDC data. The monthly total for this demographic has officially dipped below that number as of September.
  • Two thousand more people over age 65 died in September than in April. However, this number still represented a drop of about 4,500 deaths from the month of August.

The share of COVID-19 deaths within the over-65 age group has risen since the beginning of this year, from 24 percent in January to 40 percent in September.

 

The organization pointed to this data as an indication of the importance of continued vaccination against the coronavirus. Primary vaccination among seniors was particularly high — 95 percent — but enthusiasm for subsequent boosters has waned.

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86% of kids under 17 have antibodies from a past COVID infection, CDC data shows

But that doesn’t mean 86% of kids under 17 are protected against reinfection.

October 6, 2022, 5:51 PM

More than eight in 10 kids under the age of 17 have antibodies from a past COVID-19 infection, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The analysis shows that as of August, 86% of children between 6 months and 17-years-old have had at least one COVID infection since the pandemic began.

That number is an increase from data in April, when the public health agency found 75% of people under the age of 17 had been infected with the virus.

“What we have to recognize is this is more of an indication that there’s been broad spread of this virus in the pediatric community,” said Dr. John Brownstein, an ABC News contributor and chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. “And that, you know, the kids are not sheltered from this virus. And we know that in a small number of cases, there’s severe impacts.”

What the findings don’t mean is that 86% of children and adolescents are now protected against COVID reinfection because they’ve had COVID before. Experts have noted that they don’t know exactly how long protection from infection lasts after contracting the virus.

“What we should not take away from this data is that that the kids are now immune from infection, so we can’t make the leap that continual investment in vaccines and protections of our kids is not important,” Brownstein said. “As we know, immunity wanes, variants evolved to evade prior immunity and so, you know, this is more a reflection of how amazingly widespread this virus is but it’s not a reflection of future risk.”

PHOTO: A child walks in front of demonstrators holding up signs urging the Food and Drug Administration to authorize vaccines for children under 5 at the FDA on May 9, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
A child walks in front of demonstrators holding up signs urging the Food and Drug Administration to authorize vaccines for children under 5 at the FDA on May 9, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Protect Their Future, FILE

One ABC News analysis of state data found that, as of June, there’d been more than 1.6 million reinfections across 24 states, but experts said the number was likely much higher.

MORE: Americans keep getting reinfected with COVID-19 as new variants emerge, data shows

The CDC recommends everyone, regardless of prior infections, stay up to date on vaccinations — including the newest booster shot, which targets the currently circulating BA.4 and 5 variant.

The agency recommends people ages 12 and older to receive one updated booster at least two months after their last vaccine dose. Boosters are also available for kids ages 5 through 11, but only if they received the Pfizer-BioNTech primary vaccine series.

The booster for that age group targets the original virus strain, not variants, but the CDC has said it expects vaccine boosters designed to target variants like omicron to be available for children aged 5-11 years by mid-October.

MORE: Updated boosters for elementary school-aged children ‘weeks’ from authorization: FDA vaccine chief

PHOTO: A young person wearing a mask for COVID-19 protection walks past a Pikachu mascot at Times Square on July 22, 2021 in New York.
A young person wearing a mask for COVID-19 protection walks past a Pikachu mascot at Times Square on July 22, 2021 in New York.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

And Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s vaccine chief, said in late September he was “confident that we’re only a matter of weeks away” from authorizing new boosters for the 5-11 age range. For kids under 5, Marks said there were still “a few months away” from authorization.

In the meantime, Marks encouraged parents to make sure their children get the primary vaccine series.

“There are a lot of kids ages 5 to 11 out there who haven’t had their primary series, so you can’t get the updated booster until you’ve had the primary series. So it’s a good idea to think about getting your child vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said.

– ABC News’ Alexandra Hutzler contributed to this report.

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COVID boosters could save 90K lives

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The omicron-specific bivalent COVID-19 boosters could potentially prevent tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. and save billions of dollars in health care costs if a successful immunization campaign is carried out, according to new research.

New projections released by the Commonwealth Fund on Wednesday showed that roughly 90,000 deaths due to the coronavirus could be prevented if 80 percent of eligible people receive the updated booster by the end of this year.

  • The foundation’s projection also estimated more than 930,000 hospitalizations, $56 billion in medical costs and nearly 26 million infections could also be averted if a widespread, accelerated vaccination campaign was carried out between October and December.
  • “As population immunity wanes and new variants capable of evading protection from earlier vaccines and natural infection continue to emerge, surges in hospitalizations and deaths during the upcoming fall and winter are increasingly likely,” the Commonwealth Fund said in a statement.

Only about half of the U.S. population has received their first boosters and only about two-thirds of the population has completed the primary two-dose regimen needed to be eligible for the bivalent booster.

September polling data from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only about a third of adults said they planned on getting the updated booster, and about 5 percent said they had already received it.

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WORLD COVID STATS

Coronavirus Cases:

625,696,915[

605,314,138

Deaths:

6,558,132

Recovered:

605,314,138

Highlighted in green
= all cases have recovered from the infection
Highlighted in grey
= all cases have had an outcome (there are no active cases)

 

 

 

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