(CNN) — Covid-19 cases increased 10% in the United States in the last week and the delta variant could become the dominant strain. The variant is more transmissible than most other strains, but we also know that vaccines work well against it.
There is clear evidence that vaccines work well in the real world. People who choose not to apply them are putting their lives – and those of those around them – at unnecessary risk.
Preliminary data from a group of states reveals that more than 99% of deaths in the past six months occurred among unvaccinated people, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week. (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, without citing details.
We can see how well vaccines work in the bigger picture and death trends by looking at one of the groups most likely to get vaccinated: older Americans.
According to CDC, Americans age 50 and older account for 27% of COVID-19 infections in preliminary June data. The most complete data for May have them as 26% of all cases.
This is a significant change from December 2020. At that time, 35% of all cases were among those aged 50 and over. Americans age 50 and older make up 36% of the population.
Of course, older people are more prone to serious illness and death, and we see that in the numbers. In May and June, 91% of COVID-19-related deaths occurred among people 50 years of age or older. Still, this is down from December 2020, when they accounted for 96% of all covid-19 related deaths.
As we approach those over 65, the decline is even more dramatic. They were 83% of all COVID-related deaths in December 2020. In preliminary data for June, they accounted for 65%.
The only thing that has changed from December to now is the United States’ vaccination campaign in the last six months. Today, people 50 and older make up 54% of all Americans who are fully vaccinated, well above their share of the population.
Another way of looking at this is that just over 70% of people 50 and older have been fully vaccinated. Of all adults, only 58% have been fully vaccinated. Among all Americans, only 47% of Americans have.
Those over 65 are even more likely to get vaccinated. Almost four-fifths (78%) of this group have been fully vaccinated. Remember that older Americans were among the first to have access to the vaccine, after healthcare workers.
One reason more older Americans have been vaccinated is that partisanship is a less important factor.
When we take an average of the surveys Axios / Ipsos As of late May and early June, older Democrats (age 50 and older) are more likely to say they have been vaccinated than older Republicans, 86% vs. 64%. That’s a clear gap, to be sure, but consider the partisan difference between those under 50.
Among adults ages 18 to 49, Democrats (74%) were 38 points more likely to say they had received a COVID-19 vaccine than Republicans (36%).
The good news is that the most vulnerable part of our population is the one most likely to be vaccinated.
Still, young people can pass it on to others and die from it, and no one should want to get COVID-19.
Everyone who can, should get vaccinated. That will save lives.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism