CDC reports unvaccinated seniors have higher risk of severe COVID

"These are still prudent to keep California safe."
Posted at 7:31 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 22:31:07-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The CDC released a report on Friday showing unvaccinated seniors have a significantly higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness and being hospitalized than vaccinated seniors.

At almost 50 times more but, the report also shows that those unvaccinated are at a higher risk of contracting a severe illness.

“Unfortunately, as long as we have large proportions of people that are unvaccinated, we’re going to continue to see variants,” said Erica Pan, State Epidemiologist.

Data shows that the rates for those unvaccinated are significantly higher but concern remains for those who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated yet.

“It’s not necessarily that omicron as a virus or variant has a different impact on children, but what this virus does, is it finds our unprotected and our vulnerable. As we have more protection amongst older individuals, the virus again finds the unvaccinated. Unfortunately, our children that are not yet vaccinated are a large proportion.”

The Bakersfield City School District releases weekly COVID numbers. The most recent numbers show nearly 700 students and staff at all schools have tested positive for COVID-19.

The number was at 97 two weeks ago and looking at students and staff in quarantine, the district is reporting that 66 are away from school. It was about 660 a week ago.

Statewide, about 72.5 percent of residents are fully vaccinated and here in Kern, 53 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.

Looking at cases reported, according to the state, the number of COVID-19 cases is showing a downward trend.

“We may have seen our peak in cases and looking at by testing, it’s over 140,000 probably in early January. Which is over double our peak last winter,” said Pan.

Pan said that typically, hospitalizations peak a few weeks after cases rise: “That is definitely what we’re still seeing somewhat increasing now, may or may not be leveling off.”

Data from the state shows that in Kern County, our hospitalizations were decreasing steadily from November to January but since the start of this year, those reported numbers have grown.

But Pan added that even with vaccines and boosters, it’s important to still mask up, stay home when you’re sick, and avoid crowded areas.

“Even with a booster dose, we still need to observe many of these harm reduction precautions. These are still prudent to keep California safe.”