CLEVELAND — COVID-19 has been detected in the United States for more than two years.
Vaccines have been available for about a year to our senior and elderly population and studies show just how much they help.
"Because of them being at much higher risk, that means also that the vaccine would be The best or the most protective in that group," said Dr. Elie Saade, infectious disease specialist and geriatrician at University Hospitals.
New reports from the CDC show elderly patients who are vaccinated and boosted are 49 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID than those who are unvaccinated.
Saade says the lasting impacts of COVID are also hitting this population hard, especially those with pre-existing conditions.
Someone who was independent can become dependent, not just because of the lung disease but because of everything else going on. They can become dependent on others and frequently that is irreversible," Saade said.
So where does our area sit as far as vaccination rates for people 65 and older? Ohio tracks people who have finished their vaccine process, but counts boosters differently.
The statewide average for completed vaccinations sits above 80 percent for each age group above 65. That statistic remains true when broken down into Cuyahoga, Lake and Summit counties and we know a majority of those have also had a booster shot.
But Saade says it's important for anyone who spends time around this vulnerable population to protect themselves the same way.
"Getting the vaccine and getting boosted will not only protect the person who is vaccinated or boosted, but will also protest those who are around them," Saade said.
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