Young people are also at risk of Covid-19, recalling the 12 thousand more deaths in the US

Young people are also at risk of Covid-19, recalling the 12 thousand more deaths in the US

Almost 12,000 more deaths than expected in the age group between 25 and 49 years from March to July 2020. With Covid vaccines it is time to change risk communication strategy, experts say

(photo: Getty Images) Young people are not safe from the coronavirus either. A new analysis of death rates by age group in the United States slaps us in the face: + 12,000 deaths in the 25-44 age group from March to July 2020 alone, compared to estimates made for the same period in previous years . A historic pace, the authors define it, who, commenting on their research in the New York Times, recall that young adults are not a priority in vaccination campaigns: to save more lives, something must change in the communication of pandemic risk.

The researchers (all world experts, including Rochelle P. Walensky who was chosen by President-elect Joe Biden to head the CDC) have collected the 2020 mortality data available for the entire territory of the United States, comparing them with those estimated on the basis of the years 2015-2019. According to calculations, there would be almost 12,000 more deaths than expected among young adults by July of this year.

(table: Jeremy Samuel Faust et l, 2020) All from causes related to Covid-19? It is not possible to establish with certainty, the authors admit, but they say they are convinced that the driving force for these excess deaths is Covid-19. Looking at the official reports, only 38% of this excess was recorded as a result of coronavirus infection, while - net of accidents and overdose deaths (which also increased in the same period) - the rest remains without explanation, perhaps due to the impossibility of testing everyone during the health emergency.

Walensky and colleagues also point out that the excess mortality is not equally distributed among the population between 25 and 49 years old: it was African Americans and Latin Americans who died the most. Perhaps a reflection of socio-economic positions: those who carried out jobs considered essential could not enjoy the benefits of the lockdown and the virus hit them hardest.

In light of this historical increase, even if the deaths resulting from Covid-19 in young adults are only 3% of the total, according to the authors it is dangerous to continue to let the message pass that young people do not have to worry about getting sick in the first person. The arrival of vaccines could even be somewhat counterproductive for this segment of the population, which at this stage will not be involved in immunization campaigns: changes in risk communication are needed for young adults to quickly acquire greater awareness and continue to implement behaviors aimed at preventing contagion.

Because the goal now, the experts conclude, is no longer to flatten the curve and avoid the collapse of health systems. “With vaccines, our policies and our individual choices, together, can save far more lives.”

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Coronavirus Health United States Coronavirus vaccine globalData.fldTopic = "Coronavirus , Health, United States, Coronavirus vaccine "

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