President Biden is 79 years old, and Americans his age and older have made up greater and greater proportions of those who have died of Covid in recent months. This virus has taken advantage of the reduced immunity caused by the passage of time since the last vaccination of many older people, and the Omicron variant has developed an increasing ability to protect the body.
Covid has killed significantly fewer Americans of all ages this summer than during the winter’s peak of the Omicron wave. However, older people are still at a significantly higher risk of developing the disease.
As of early June, more than four times as many Americans aged 75 to 84 die from the virus each week as those younger than two decades, According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Those death numbers are provisional, the CDC warns, because they are based on death certificates and do not take into account all deaths in those age groups.)
That’s an age gap even larger than what exists at the peak of the Omicron wave this winter. Then, the number of 75- to 84-year-olds killed by Covid each week was twice as high as the number of 55- to 64-year-olds.
President received a second booster shot at the end of March, greatly reducing his risk of serious illness. This spring, people 50 years of age and older who received a booster dose died from Covid at four times the rate of those who received two booster doses, the CDC reported.
In 2022, the number of Covid deaths, although always concentrated among the elderly, is misleading for the elderly more than they have done at any point since vaccines became widely available. Many older adults were vaccinated early in 2021, and among those who have not yet received a booster, the immune defenses generated by the shots have been significantly weakened.
In contrast, middle-aged Americans, who suffered most of the pandemic deaths last summer and fall, are benefiting from larger stores of immune protection from both vaccinations and previous infections.
According to the latest CDC data, while Covid mortality rates are still much lower than in winter, they are on the rise again in older people due to the immune-evading Omicron sub-microbe known as BA.5 causes more infections, according to the latest CDC data. From early May to early June, the number of Americans aged 75 to 84 who die from Covid each week increased by nearly 50 percent.