Health and Science

CDC director says hospitalizations among seniors are declining as more than half of the age group is fully vaccinated

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Key Points
  • About 75% of Americans 65 and older have received at least one vaccine shot and more than half are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
  • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said emergency department visits and hospitalizations associated with that 65 and older demographic are declining.
  • The U.S. is reporting about 64,600 daily new Covid cases and nearly 800 deaths, and averaging just over 3 million vaccine shots per day.
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As the U.S. continues to increase the pace of its vaccination campaign, now averaging more than 3 million shots per day, those in the most vulnerable age group are leading the way. About 75% of Americans 65 and older have received at least one shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, and more than half are fully vaccinated.

On a call with reporters Monday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said emergency department visits and hospitalizations associated with that 65 and older demographic are declining.

Those trends are "good news with regard to the power of vaccination," Walensky said.

U.S. Covid cases

Following a dip in daily case numbers due to Easter Sunday, when many states did not report coronavirus data, a Johns Hopkins University tracker shows the U.S. recorded about 79,000 new Covid-19 cases on Monday. The seven-day average of daily new cases is currently at 64,600, up from the nation's low point of about 53,000 cases per day in late March but showing some signs of plateauing.

The demographics of who is becoming infected with the virus are changing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told members of the media Monday at a White House news briefing.

"As the trends in data have been indicating, cases are increasing nationally, and we are seeing this occur predominantly in young adults," Walensky said.

She added that many of the outbreaks in young people are related to youth sports and extracurricular activities. Risks of outbreak clusters can be prevented with cadenced testing strategies, Walensky said.

The shifting demographics are a sign that vaccinations are having an impact, according to Walensky, who cited a decline in emergency department visits and hospitalizations associated with those 65 and older. The majority of that age group has received at least one vaccine shot.

U.S. Covid deaths

The seven-day average of daily new coronavirus deaths is nearly 800, according to Johns Hopkins data, well below the nation's winter peak.

Walensky said not enough is yet known about whether new virus variants are more deadly.

"With these variants, we are still seeing increased transmissibility. We don't yet know of its increased morbidity and mortality," she said. "We still have to remain very vigilant with regard to these variants."

U.S. vaccine shots administered

The U.S. is administering a seven-day average of just over 3 million Covid-19 vaccine shots per day, according to the CDC.

Following four straight days of more than 3 million vaccine doses administered, Monday's report showed 2.1 million shots given. White House Covid-19 Data Director Cyrus Shahpar wrote in a tweet that while Monday numbers largely reflect weekend vaccinations and therefore typically show lower numbers, Easter Sunday was also a reason for the lower-than-usual data reporting.

U.S. share of the population vaccinated

Nearly a third of the U.S. population has received at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to CDC data, with 18.8% of Americans fully vaccinated.