If you’re young, healthy and vaccinated, “you’re going to be in a good place,” Dr. William Schaffner, vaccine advisor to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “You will be well protected.”
About 80% of the nearly 2,000 people hospitalized there for Covid-19 in May, June and July were over 60, data from Northwell Health shows. About 90% had an underlying health problem such as hypertension or diabetes.
Vaccination status was also important. The vast majority of hospitalized patients have not received the Covid-19 vaccine to date. Those who were contemporary and still hospitalized were mostly over 65 years of age.
Dr. Northwell’s chief medical officer, Jill Kalman, noted that Covid patients are doing better than before when they are admitted to the hospital.
“Now the mortality rate is very low: about 2%, compared to 10-12% during the Delta period,” he said. “And if they get into the ICU, they won’t stay that long. In the first wave, we were seeing patients in the ICU for 15, 20, 30 days, and that’s part of it now.”
CDC director Dr. CNN data. Rochelle Walensky said it was consistent with his recent statement that “we’re in a better place than we’ve ever been.”
He added that national data from April to June showed that hospitalizations among people over 50 were nearly four times higher than among younger adults.
CDC to tailor messages to specific groups
For other measures, the CDC is expected to adapt guidelines for high-risk groups more than before in the pandemic.
Recommendations for Covid-19 screening testing also vary by group. The CDC document, obtained by CNN, will suggest that the agency would not recommend it for most settings, but may be useful in high-risk congregate settings such as nursing homes.
Schaffner, a member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said it makes sense to align messages more at this point in the pandemic.
“Whenever a patient or someone in the community asks me for advice about Covid, the first thing I always say is, ‘Who are you?’ What is vaccination history? how old are you What are the main comorbidities? Are you interested in someone? Is it a high risk group?” he said.
Age and vaccination status predict your chances of being hospitalized with Covid-19
The Northwell data looked at 1,961 patients at 21 hospitals between May 1 and July 31. The data includes people admitted because they have Covid, not patients admitted for other reasons who later test positive for the virus.
66% of the patients of this hospital were over 70 years old, 15% were 60 years old, and 8% were 50 years old.
Across all ages, 89% of patients had an underlying health problem such as hypertension, diabetes, or coronary artery disease.
Of all patients hospitalized for Covid, 47% had never had a Covid shot, 21% had only had one or two shots and 32% had been fully vaccinated and boosted. Among this latter group, 78% were aged 65 and over.
Schaffner noted that because mRNA vaccines were less effective for the group hospitalized with Covid-19 despite being new to their vaccine, it would be important to know how long it had been since their last booster. time.
“These data suggest that the elderly and those with major co-morbidities should be very careful about their vaccination status and wear their masks if they go indoors or participate in group activities,” he said.
Although young, healthy, vaccinated, and fortified people generally avoid hospitalization altogether, some of them end up in the hospital, and others get sick enough to miss work or school for long periods of time.
CDC has ‘difficult’ data problems
In some ways, the Northwell data is more useful than the CDC’s national data because it can link hospital patients to their vaccination status.
“Northwell’s statistics are able to give us a sense of more detail, some of which we don’t necessarily get with the national data we have at the CDC,” Walensky told CNN.
Walensky called for improvements in the data states send to the CDC.
“We really needed to bring our data into the 21st century and get us to a place where our systems are talking to each other,” he said. “These data problems are really hard.”
CNN’s Danielle Herman and Brenda Goodman contributed to this report.
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