As Covid Deaths Rise, Even Elderly Skip the Latest Booster While The Real Price of COVID-19 Continues Rising

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Despite the CDC’s recommendation that people, especially seniors and those with medical conditions, get an updated COVID-19 booster shot, most U.S. citizens are skipping them, and there are many questions behind this.

Repetition of 2022

In 2022, around 75 percent skipped the booster, and this year seems to be similar. Among those who got boosters were primarily Democrats with college diplomas and people making over $90,000 each year, Yale’s epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves reported. The numbers baffled scientists, so the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health identified why many Americans did not receive a booster.

The researchers shared that around 40 people skipped the booster because they got infected. However, the worrying 31.5% believed that side effects would outweigh the protection. Additionally, 28.6% thought the booster would not provide additional protection over the vaccines already received. Finally, over 23% thought the booster would not give any protection.

Public Education

“Our results indicate that we have a lot more work to do in terms of educating the public and health care providers about the importance of staying up to date on COVID-19 boosters,” said the first author of “Understanding low bivalent COVID-19 booster uptake among U.S. adults,” Elizabeth Jacobs, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at the Zuckerman College of Public Health. The study was published in the journal Vaccine.

The politicization and numerous conspiracies associated with COVID-19 turned vaccination into a disaster not only in the U.S. but worldwide. People remain cautious despite the intense efforts in 2021 and the need for boosters, especially in collectives like nursing homes.

Stop the spread

COVID-19 is not only a matter of symptoms, masking, and potential rise of deaths, despite it being, once again, the leading cause of death in the past three months. It is also about the money.

Moderna and Pfizer made significant profits from the vaccines. Those who are insured have nothing to worry about if they choose to get a booster. But around 30 million without insurance are not covered by the government this time around. The costs of vaccines have quadrupled, and the companies justified it by lower demand.

Yet, even with over 1.1. million deaths, the main concern remains the public trust in official guidelines.

The Price Outside What You See

The pain, isolation, and fear dominated the early stages of the pandemic. Almost four years later, the U.S. economy’s estimated $14 trillion loss made the ongoing pandemic unprecedented in U.S. history. At the same time, the mental health crisis is increasing, with “42% of U.S. adults with a diagnosable condition reported in 2023 that they could not afford to access the treatment they needed,” per Forbes.

“The COVID-19 pandemic created a collective experience among Americans. While the early pandemic lockdowns may seem like the distant past, the aftermath remains,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., APA’s chief executive officer.

“We cannot ignore the fact that we have been significantly changed by the loss of more than one million Americans, as well as the shift in our workplaces, school systems, and culture at large. To move toward posttraumatic growth, we must first identify and understand the psychological wounds that remain,” added Evans.

The Silence

New York Times health and science reporter Apoorva Mandavilli explained, “The lack of honest conversation has undermined trust in public health.” She continued, “Whenever there’s silence from the public health agencies on the topic, that’s when misinformation gets in, and suddenly, it’s difficult to counter that message because it’s simple; it gives you easy answers; it’s memorable. And once it gets in there, it’s hard to get rid of.”

While the officials were somewhat silent or repetitive, per Mandavilli, anti-vaxers were “loud.” She added, “They were clear. And they had all the answers.”

And that’s how the price of the pandemic continues rising.