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Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

COVID-19 cases, deaths, related hospitalizations and ER visits have all declined considerably this year, especially among older, vaccinated adults, according to a new CDC report.

Why it matters: The data bears it out: Greater vaccine coverage in the U.S. is correlated with a precipitous drop in the number of people getting seriously ill.

  • COVID cases hit its lowest point last week since the pandemic began of about 16,500 new cases per day, with decreased cases in 43 states and steady rates in seven.

By the numbers: COVID-19 incidence among all adults during April 18-May 1 this year was 69% lower than before a vaccine received emergency authorization in December, the report says.

  • Decreases in cases were nearly 80% lower for people 65 and older and 71% lower for those 50-64. For 18-49 year-olds, incidence was 66% lower.
  • Hospitalizations decreased by 63% for all ages and deaths by 80% during the same time period.
  • By May 1, 69% of persons older than 65 and 26% of persons 18–49 years were fully vaccinated.

Yes, but: Younger adults have had declining vaccine coverage since mid-April despite increases in vaccine supply and open eligibility in states by the spring.

  • CDC data posted last week show Black and Hispanic Americans are once again seeing higher coronavirus case rates than white Americans — as their vaccination rates continue to lag.

What to watch: NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Tuesday at a press briefing that officials will "continue to keep pushing" vaccinations nationwide even if the U.S. doesn't hit President Biden's goal of getting shots to 70% of adults by July 4. Just over half of American adults have at least one shot, according to the CDC.

  • "If you don't meet the precise goal and you fall short by a few percent, that doesn't mean you stop in your effort," he said.

Go deeper

White House invites call with Nicki Minaj to discuss COVID vaccine

Rapper Nicki Minaj is seen leaving the Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 runway show during New York Fashion Week on Feb. 12, 2020, in New York City. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Nicki Minaj questioned the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine this week on Twitter, prompting an offer from the White House for a call with a doctor to discuss the safety of the vaccine, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Thursday.

Driving the news: Minaj on Monday wrote on Twitter that she would not attend the Met Gala because she had not received the COVID vaccine, which was a requirement to attend the event.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Sep 16, 2021 - Health

Gottlieb: CDC hampered U.S. response to COVID

The CDC moved too slowly at several points in the coronavirus pandemic, ultimately hindering the U.S. response, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb writes in a new book, Uncontrolled Spread.

The big picture: The book argues that American intelligence agencies should have a much bigger role in pandemic preparedness, even if that's sometimes at the expense of public health agencies like the CDC.

Sep 16, 2021 - Health

France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay

A nurse tends to a patient at a hospital in France. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty images.

France has suspended about 3,000 health workers without pay for failing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: The suspensions came after Wednesday's government-imposed deadline for the country's 2.7 million health workers to get at least one dose of the vaccine.