Washington Post: COVID-19 deaths higher in people 65 and older

Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 6:10 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - COVID-19 is still a concern as families gather for the holidays, especially with older relatives.

According to the Washington Post, nearly 90% of coronavirus deaths are in people 65 or older, which is the highest rate since the pandemic began.

Doctor Costi Sifri with UVA Health says older people have always been a vulnerable age group.

“It’s a reflection to think of what occurs with the immune system,” the doctor said. “The immune system does age, and as one gets older it’s a little bit less robust.”

Dr. Sifri says there can be more complications, too.

“The other part of the equation is that as we get older, we also have more likely to have other medical problems,” he said. “Things like heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, obesity, things like that, those compound the issue of aging.”

Immunocompromised people are also high risk, because they’re less likely to build antibodies from COVID-19 vaccinations.

“People who have organ transplants or who have cancer and receiving chemotherapy or on immunologic therapy, they continue to be at risk for COVID,” Dr. Sifri said.

He says there are three things to do to reduce poor outcomes from COVID-19: Get vaccinations, be attentive to your medical issues, and limit exposure to the virus.

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