(RightIsRight.co) – Older adults in the United States are at growing risk of COVID-19 death as coronavirus-related hospitalizations across the nation have started climbing once again, a report has warned.
The upward trend in COVID-19 hospital admissions among elderly Americans is “alarming” and points to a “difficult winter for seniors,” according to the AP report cited by Newsmax.
“The sense of urgency is not universal. [But] if you’re 21, you probably should worry about your granny. We’re all in this together,” said Bartley O’Hara from Washington, DC.
The 81-year-old nursing home resident said he was “vaccinated up to the eyeballs.” He made it clear he tracked coronavirus hospital trends, which were flat for younger people but “zoomed up” for the elderly.
According to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus hospitalizations spiked by 30% over the past couple of weeks.
She stressed that the increase is primarily driven by older patients and those with existing health problems. All who are hospitalized test positive for the virus regardless of the reason for their admission.
“We’re doing a terrible job of [protecting seniors] in this country,” commented Dr. Eric Topol, head of Scripps Research Translational Institute.
Katie Smith Sloan, head of a nursing home nonprofit Leading Age, said the health authorities should be clear about what the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters could and could not do.
“We need to change our messaging to be accurate about what it does, which is prevent serious illness and hospitalization and death. This virus is insidious, and it just keeps popping up everywhere. We just need to be real about that,” she stated.
One significant problem with the coronavirus hospitalizations was “unwarranted hesitance to prescribe the antiviral pill Paxlovid quickly” to older patients.
This led five major medical societies to set up an online educational session for doctors entitled “Vax & Pax: How to Keep Your Patients Safe This Winter.”
According to nursing home leaders, receiving family consent to vaccinate their residents has been challenging, while some residents who can decide on their own are refusing the shots. At the same time, only 23% of the staff in nursing homes have updated coronavirus vaccines.
“What we’ve learned during COVID is that the rate of spread is dependent on the community rate of spread. I feel safer in my building than anywhere else, including the grocery store,” said Tina Sandri, CEO of nursing home Forest Hills in Washington, DC.
The influx of senior COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the country is “pretty alarming,” according to Dr. Eric Topol.
Data from the US Department of Health and Human Services shows the rate of daily coronavirus-related hospital admissions for patients 70 and over went up from 8.8 per 100,000 people on November 15 to 12.1 per 100,000 people on December 6.
Coronavirus-related hospital admissions are climbing again in the United States, with older adults a growing share of U.S. deaths and less than half of nursing home residents up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations. https://t.co/hcDhS2gCbu
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) December 11, 2022