COVID-19 has hit seniors the hardest of all.
The number crunchers have found that 95 percent of Americans killed by the coronavirus were 50 or older. And 8 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the USA were in folks 65 and up.
Seniors responded to the threat by leading the way in vaccination.
But now that booster shots are in full swing here in the United States, many older folks who survived a battle with COVID-19 are wondering about natural immunity.
The truth is things continue to move at lightning speed with the pandemic. That means we still have a lot more to learn.
But new research published in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has finally given us some answers.
Unvaccinated folks fare worse
The research included numbers from 187 hospitals across nine states and over 200,000 people. And what they found confirmed the vaccines work.
The data showed…
- the odds of COVID-19 infections in hospitalized people were close to 20 times greater among unvaccinated seniors than fully vaccinated folks who hadn’t been infected before
- hospitalized people under 65 who were unvaccinated were at 5 times greater risk of COVID infection compared to those who received both doses of an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer)
But the data also finally revealed a critical piece of the natural immunity puzzle. And if you’re still trying to decide about getting the vaccine or a booster shot, it could give you precisely what you need to help you make that decision.
There’s no question, of course, that a previous coronavirus infection can provide some protection against catching the virus again. And that also, just like the original vaccine, this protection fades over time.
But the new data confirmed that COVID-19 vaccines ARE more effective than natural immunity in preventing hospitalizations in folks over 65.
Vaccines protect better than natural immunity
The researchers found that vaccine-induced immunity was more protective than infection-induced immunity against COVID-19.
So the scientists concluded that even if you have had COVID-19 before you should still get the vaccine as soon as possible.
And, of course, seniors are especially at risk. Folks 65 and older make up about 16 percent of the total population of the United States. Yet, these same folks account for the vast majority of deaths from COVID.
According to study co-author Shaun Grannis, M.D., the coronavirus vaccines are working on every level.
Regardless of your age, they reduce your risk for…
- ending up in the ER
Plus, we now have evidence that they also protect better than natural immunity.
The majority of U.S. seniors are already vaccinated against COVID-19. In fact, 99.4 percent of seniors 65+ have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 86 percent are fully vaccinated.
But I get it. Getting vaccinated (or rolling up your sleeve again for a booster) can be a difficult decision to make. And that’s especially true if you’ve already battled the beast and won.
Not having any solid data on natural immunity no doubt made making a decision even more complicated. So this new research is a breath of fresh air. And it could be exactly what you’ve been waiting for to help you finally make that choice.
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