Older unvaccinated adults are more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19
Per the CDC website, getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. People 65 and older who received both doses of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines showed a 94% reduced risk of COVID-19 related hospitalization. Unvaccinated people should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated. With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever. CDC has updated guidance for fully vaccinated people based on new evidence on the Delta variant.
What you need to know
Older unvaccinated adults are more likely to be hospitalized or die.
Older adults, and those who live with, visit or provide care for them, need to take preventive measures to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.
Preventive measures include getting vaccinated wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and washing hands.
Increased Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19
Older adults are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Getting very sick means that older adults with COVID-19 might need hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they might even die. The risk increases for people in their 50s and increases in 60s, 70s, and 80s. People 85 and older are the most likely to get very sick.
Other factors can also make you more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19, such as having certain underlying medical conditions. If you have an underlying medical condition, you should continue to follow your treatment plan, unless advised differently by your health care provider.
Protect Yourself & Others from Getting COVID-19
Older adults, and those who live with, visit or provide care for them need, to take steps to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.
- Get vaccinated as soon as possible.
- COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing COVID-19 and are recommended for everyone 12 years of age and older.
- If you are fully vaccinated you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
- If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places.
- In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
- In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may NOT be protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
- Limit your in-person interactions with other people as much as possible, particularly when indoors.
- Keep space between yourself and others (stay 6 feet away, which is about 2 arm lengths).
- Wash your hands often. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Then wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and things you touch often.
- The more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the more likely you are to get or spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Get vaccinated as soon as possible. COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing COVID-19 and are recommended for everyone 12 years of age and older.
Adults 65 years old and older who were fully vaccinated with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) had a 94% reduction in risk of COVID-19 hospitalizations and vaccination was 64% effective among those who were partially vaccinated (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).