Samuel Scarpino Featured in ABC News: COVID Burden Shifts to Younger Americans with Older Generations Vaccinated
by Arielle Mitropoulos and John Brownstein, ABC News
With vaccination totals increasing and coronavirus cases declining across the country, many Americans are feeling a newfound sense of hope, that perhaps, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
However, health and government officials across the country are continuing to warn that the virus is still spreading among unvaccinated populations, with a larger share of younger Americans becoming infected, and in some cases, hospitalized with severe cases of the virus.
For the first time, patients between the ages of 18 and 64 now account for the largest cohort of the 37,000 total patients currently hospitalized with the virus. With more older Americans vaccinated, this marks the third week that the number of hospitalized individuals in the 65 and older age group has been smaller than both the 18-49, and the 50-64 age groups.
Because the U.S.’ vaccination strategy targeted high-risk individuals by age, almost all of these younger hospitalized patients have yet to be vaccinated, Samuel Scarpino, epidemiologist and assistant professor at Northeastern University, told ABC News.
Earlier this month, all 50 states opened vaccinations to residents 16 years and older, but it will take some time for those younger populations to be fully protected, Scarpino explained.