Covid, masks

Thousands Of Americans Are Still Dying From Covid-19 Each Week

Americans are not utilizing available vaccines and other treatments, experts say.

More than three years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Americans are still dying from the virus. 

According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) there were 1614 deaths from COVID-19 for the week ending Dec.9, the last week of complete data. The last four weeks of complete data indicate an  average of 1,488 deaths per week. 

To compare, there were 163 weekly deaths from the flu for the week ending Dec 9, according to CDC data. 

These COVID death rates are still significantly lower than the record high of 25,974 recorded in the week ending Jan. 9, 2021. 

“We do have very good vaccines that [researchers] have been able to adjust as the variants have changed and very good treatment options that have been shown to decrease the risk of hospitalization as well as deaths.” Dr. Shivanjali Shankaran, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, told ABC News.

He said that people need to utilize these resources to make a difference. 

The most recent vaccine is designed to fight the XBB variant. Currently the JN.1 variant, which is related to the BA.2.86 and the XBB, makes up approximately 61.6 % of COVID cases in the United States.

Although The CDC has suggested that the JN.1 variant may be more contagious, there is no evidence that the available vaccines won’t work to combat it. 

Experts said that complacency and vaccine fatigue may be the reasons for the recent surge in COVD-19 cases. Some vaccinated Americans don’t think they require follow-up treatment after they have received the original vaccine and the booster. 

“[Vaccines] don’t treat in their memory as effectively as we might like,“ Dr Cameron Wolfe, a professor of infectious diseases at Duke University, told ABC News.

He continued, ”The longer someone has gone since their last vaccine, or their most recent infection for that matter, the more likely their COVID breakthrough would occur and the more likely it’s going to be severe enough that they land in the hospital.” According to the CDC, As of Jan. 5, 19.4% of adults aged 18 and older have received the updated vaccine. Additionally 38% of adults aged 65 and older, who are more susceptible to severe illness, have been vaccinated.

RELATED CONTENT: Happy Flu Year: U.S. Slammed with RSV, COVID-19, and Flu Cases Post-Holidays