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Hospitalizations drop for US senior citizens

Figures suggest vaccinations working

WASHINGTON — COVID-19 hospitalizations among older Americans have plunged more than 70% since the start of the year, and deaths among them appear to have tumbled as well, dramatic evidence the vaccination campaign is working.

Now the trick is to get more of the nation’s younger people to roll up their sleeves.

The drop-off in severe cases among Americans 65 and older is especially encouraging because senior citizens have accounted for about 8 out of 10 deaths from the virus since it hit the U.S., where the toll stands at about 570,000.

COVID-19 deaths among people of all ages in the U.S. have plummeted to about 700 per day on average, compared with a peak of over 3,400 in mid-January.

“What you’re seeing there is exactly what we hoped and wanted to see: As really high rates of vaccinations happen, hospitalizations and death rates come down,” said Jodie Guest, a public health researcher at Emory University.

The best available data suggests COVID-19 deaths among Americans 65 and older have declined more than 50% since their peak in January. The picture is not entirely clear because the most recent data on deaths by age from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is incomplete and subject to revision.

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