The COVID-19 Vaccine Effort Is Protecting Older People, Growing Evidence Suggests
A growing number of signals show vaccinations are starting to reshape the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S.
Hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly are falling, marking hopeful signs that an inoculation push aimed first at older Americans is bearing fruit. Deaths tied to nursing homes have plummeted. Seven-day averages for newly reported deaths recently fell below 1,000 for the first time in more than four months.
Public-health researchers caution the pandemic is far from over, especially as newly reported U.S. cases plateau after a steep decline and more infectious coronavirus variants spread. But as this happens, the Americans who have long faced the highest mortality risk are increasingly protected.
The vaccine effects showed up quickly in nursing homes, where the population is relatively small—about 2.9 million residents and staff, according to the American Health Care Association—but the risks are significant.