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Almost 9 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths are among people 65 and older — the highest rate yet for elderly fatalities since the pandemic began, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.
The Centers for Disease Control says more than 300 people die each day from COVID-19 – down from the 2,000 or deaths each day during the worst of the delta wave. But it’s still two to three times more than the death rate from the flu, “renewing debate about what is an ‘acceptable loss,’ ” the newspaper said.
“Despite the widespread belief that the pandemic is over, death and disruption continue,” a group of experts wrote last month in the BMJ, formerly the British Medicine Journal.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said last month that almost all the deaths currently happening can be prevented – noting the availability of antiviral pills, rapid tests, vaccines, and boosters.
But among the elderly, it’s “a real challenge,” she said. COVID-19 “is something that may turn something they are able to stably live with to something they are not.”
Experts expect between 150,000 and 175,000 U.S. deaths in COVID-19’s third year – down from about 500,000 in each of the first two years. Coronavirus could rank as the third leading cause of death this year.
“Unlike flu, which impacts both the very young and the very old, the coronavirus appears to put mostly older people at higher risk of severe disease and death,” The Post wrote. “The proportion of deaths among those 65 or older has fluctuated from eight out of 10 in the first few months of the pandemic, to a low of 6 out of 10 when the delta wave struck in the summer of 2021, to a high of 9 out of 10 today.”
The Washington Post: “Covid becomes plague of elderly, reviving debate over ‘acceptable loss’ “