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Category Archives: Covid-19

My Experience with the COVID-19 Vaccine and IBD – Healthline

Posted: June 27, 2021 at 4:05 am

With the vaccine behind me, I feel hopeful for the future for the first time in over a year.

Having an autoimmune disease is tough physically, mentally, and emotionally. Having an autoimmune disease during a pandemic? That is a completely new experience that I wasnt prepared for.

I have ulcerative colitis (UC), a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and have been fighting a flare-up off and on throughout all of 2020. I like to say that I was quarantining before quarantining was cool.

I finally felt a glimmer of hope mixed with a twinge of uncertainty when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that a COVID-19 vaccine was finally available.

Was it going to work? Was it going to make my disease worse? So many questions were living rent-free in my brain.

I did so much research about the effects of the vaccine on people with IBD and initially found very little. I want to share my experience in the hope that it will help you make an educated decision on COVID-19 vaccination for yourself.

Im not going to lie: I was hesitant about getting the vaccine at first. Like many people, I truly didnt know if I even wanted or should get the vaccine.

For a while, I was in the camp of absolutely not. My body had started heading into remission and was sensitive beyond belief. The last thing I needed was a foreign substance in my body.

However, I continued seeing more positive research coming out about trial participants with autoimmune diseases, as well as medical leaders encouraging people with IBD to get the vaccine.

Additionally, I did not want to suffer the effects of COVID-19 on top of my existing symptoms.

Ultimately, I chose to get vaccinated.

I did not make this decision lightly. People with an autoimmune disease, myself included, are at greater risk of having severe complications from COVID-19 and I did not want to risk it. On top of that, the chronic stress and fear of getting COVID-19 that I have felt for over a year now have wreaked havoc on my gut and my overall well-being.

On the other hand, the side effects of the vaccine on autoimmune patients are very minimal and provide me with peace of mind in knowing that I am protected.

I weighed all the pros and cons and decided that the reward outweighed the risk.

I was a ball of nerves driving up to the vaccination site on my appointment day, not knowing what to expect. However, the overall experience was a positive one.

I waited in line for no more than 10 minutes, and the injection was completely painless. I then waited in the car for 15 minutes in case of an allergic reaction and drove home.

In the hours after the first dose, I actually felt better than I have felt since the start of my flare-up. Coincidentally, my symptoms were less severe, and I had more energy than normal. (I am not sure yet if the vaccine caused the improvement of my symptoms, but I look forward to reading studies on the vaccine and IBD to see if this is related.)

I heard from friends that the second dose was far worse than the first, so I braced myself. My first dose went exceedingly well, but I feared this would be the moment I would feel the negative effects. I even prepped all my food for the next few days in case I didnt feel well enough to cook.

The overall experience again was very positive, and the actual injection was not painful. Later that evening, I felt run down and a little tired, so I drank a lot of water and went to bed early.

Fearing the worst, I woke up in the morning and did a quick mental scan of my body. But I felt normal.

I cautiously waited the rest of the day for the symptoms to set in and they never did. I feel extremely lucky to not have experienced more intense symptoms, especially when I already had symptoms from my UC flare-up.

With the vaccine behind me, I feel hopeful for the future for the first time in over a year. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted and that I can rest easy knowing that I am protected from this awful virus.

My vaccinated future feels bright. You will find me at a bar laughing with friends, playing beach volleyball, and singing my heart out at a country concert. These are all things that seemed so basic and normal in 2019, and yet these are the moments that I will cherish in 2021.

Every person is unique and, therefore, will have their own individual experience with the vaccine.

However, I hope my story and experience will help you to weigh your options regarding your health and the vaccine.

Holly Fowler is a Certified Health Coach and personal trainer in Los Angeles. She loves hiking, spending time at the beach, trying the latest gluten-free hot spot in town, and working out as much as her ulcerative colitis allows. When she isnt seeking out gluten-free vegan dessert, you can find her working behind the scenes of her website and Instagram, or curled up on the couch bingeing the latest true-crime documentary on Netflix.

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Gov. Brown: Oregon to reopen, with COVID-19 restrictions lifted by next Wednesday – KTVZ

Posted: at 4:05 am

(Update: Adding video, comments by Bend restaurant owner)

Sooner, if 70% vaccination goal met; school decisions return to local boards

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) Gov. Kate Brown signed a recovery-focused executive order Friday lifting all remaining COVID-19 health and safety restrictions issued under Oregons emergency statutes. Restrictions will be lifted when Oregon achieves a 70% first dose adult vaccination rate or next Wednesday, June 30, whichever occurs first.

With restrictions lifted, the state will shift to a focus on helping Oregonians and communities recover from the impacts and the economic toll of the pandemic.

This means statewide mask mandates in most settings will be lifted and there will no longer be capacity limits, required physical distancing or county risk levels.

For more than a year, Oregon has faced some of the nations strictest COVID-19 related safety measures and restrictions county risk levels, mask requirements inside and outside, limited gatherings and restaurants closed for indoor dining.

The owner of Bend's Pine Tavern Restaurant says not having to wear masks will be nice, but capacity limits at his restaurant won't change -- not due to COVID-19, but because, like most businesses, he does not have enough employees.

"If they lift the capacity, great -- but we can't open the rest of the restaurant and spaces because we simply don't have the employees," Bill McCormick told NewsChannel 21 on Friday.

Here's the rest of the governor's news release:

Im proud of our collective efforts to vaccinate more than 2.3 million Oregonians. It is because of this success that we can move Oregon forward, and into the next chapter of this pandemic. We are ready, said Governor Brown.

We should all take pride in the work we have done to bring us to this moment. The efforts underway to close our vaccine equity gap and reach every Oregonian with information and a vaccine have definitely helped bring us this far. Thank you to all who are going the extra mile to vaccinate Oregonians.

The Governor signed the executive order today in a press conference with Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen, state epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger, and Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill.

Recovery OrderThe Governors recovery order rescinds Executive Order 20-66, the successor to her original Stay Home, Save Lives order and subsequent Safe and Strong Oregon orders, which authorized Oregons statewide mask mandate and the county risk level system, including restrictions on businesses and other sectors for physical distancing, capacity limits, closing times, and more.

The recovery order also rescinds Executive Order Order 20-22 (Non-urgent Healthcare Procedures), Executive Order 21-06 (K-12 Schools), Executive Order 20-28 (Higher Education), and Executive Order 20-19 (Childcare Facilities).

With the repeal of the set of executive orders that placed COVID-19 related restrictions on Oregonians, the recovery order extends the emergency declaration for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Governors remaining emergency authority will be limited in focus to COVID-19 recovery efforts, similar to the recovery executive order currently in place for 2020 wildfire season recovery.

Emergency authority continues to be necessary to provide flexibility and resources for vaccination efforts, health system response to COVID-19 including staffing flexibility, Oregons access to FEMA, enhanced SNAP benefits, and other federal aid, to allow the continued operation of certain emergency child care providers through the summer, unemployment insurance claim processing, and more. The recovery order does not provide authorization for agencies to renew restrictions based on emergency authorities.

Continued Governor Brown: This is a pivotal moment for Oregon. We have endured a lot over the past several months. We must recognize that it has been exceptionally difficult for our Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander and Tribal communities. Disparities that existed before are even wider now. I am incredibly proud of the work that our local health partners and community-based organizations have done to reach Oregonians from communities of color and make progress toward closing the equity gaps in our vaccination efforts.

Brighter days are ahead. And, we are more determined than ever to make sure we ground our state in a strong recovery that reaches every single Oregonian as we turn a page on this chapter of the pandemic. Our work is not done, but we can all take a moment to celebrate that by next week, we will be moving forward together.

Some statewide mask requirements may stay in place in specialized settings following federal guidance, including airports, public transit, and health care settings. The Governors recovery order will remain in effect until December 31, 2021, unless terminated earlier.

K-12 Education, Higher Education, and ChildcareRescinding the Governors executive orders for K-12 schools, higher education, and child care will mean a shift to a more traditional, local decision-making model for communities when it comes to serving the health and safety needs of students and children.

In order to ensure a return to full-time, in-person instruction in the fall, the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority will be issuing updated, advisory guidance for the 2021-22 school year. Schools will still be expected to comply with longstanding regulations around the control of infectious diseases, and to have acommunicable disease management plan.

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COVID-19: Where Things Stand as of June 24, 2021 – MRSC

Posted: June 24, 2021 at 11:27 pm

June 24, 2021 by Jill Dvorkin Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Utilities - Billing and Collection , Operating Policies , COVID-19

Washington State is just days away from the much-anticipated June 30 reopening of the economy, first announced by Governor Jay Inslee in May. In advance of the official reopening, the governor has been amending guidance and easing industry-specific restrictions. Day-to-day life is feeling more normal than at any time since the start of the pandemicthanks to increased vaccination rates and a decreased prevalence of the COVID-19 disease.

This blog sets forth our understanding of where things stand now and what things may look like starting June 30. We dont know all the details yet, so some of this information is speculative based on what weve been hearing from the state and other organizations. We will publish a new blog post and e-newsletter on or around June 30 once the state has made the official announcements. We also post updates to our COVID-19 Governors Proclamations and State Guidance page as they become available, so feel free to bookmark that page.

All employers (including local governments) are required to follow Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) COVID-19 Safety and Health Requirements and Guidance, which includes worker education, basic sanitation requirements, and mask and social distancing requirements for unvaccinated employees (see our blog post Face Masks in the Local Government Workplace).

In addition to these L&I rules, the governor had developed guidance specific to various industries and activities. The governor has recently rescinded and/or consolidated guidance for several of these industries and activities, including construction, manufacturing, and outdoor recreation, as outlined in this memo. The guidance that remains in effect can be found in the COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers. The two guidance documents weve referenced most with regard to local government operationsthe Professional Servicesand Miscellaneous Venues guidance (both updated on June 2)remain in effect at this time. The Miscellaneous Venues guidance continues to apply to public meetings, as set forth in the OPMA Proclamation 20-28.14 as extended by Proclamation 20-28.15 (which also remains in effect). See our blog post Face Masks and In-Person Public Meetings for current guidance on public meetings.

The governor announced this week that he isrescinding three emergency proclamationsrelated to COVID-19, including Proclamation 20-46 et seq. regarding high-risk workers.Proclamation 20-46.4rescinds this proclamation effective 11:59 PM on June 28, 2021. The proclamation has been substantially replaced byESSB 5115, the Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA), which took effect May 11, 2021. For more information on HELSA, see the Department of Labor & IndustriesQ&A on Protecting High-Risk Employees from Discrimination During Public Health Emergencies.

The other proclamations rescinded were Proclamation 20-30, which had suspended statutory job search requirements for applicants seeking unemployment benefits, and Proclamation 20-76, which limited fees that third-party delivery services could charge restaurants.

The existing state eviction moratorium expires June 30, 2021, but the governor has announced that there will be a new eviction moratorium bridge in place from July 1-September 30. This will not be an extension of the existing moratorium, but rather a new order with new provisions to support renters and landlords until resources and programs become available and to allow for a transition to the tenant protections established in E2SSB 5160. The full proclamation and details will be released in coming days, but the governors news release provides a summary.

Other new legislation impacting evictions include HB 1236 (effective May 10, 2021), which sets forth a series of just causes for landlords to pursue eviction, including nonpayment of rent and utilities, violations of nuisance clauses, or if the owner intends to occupy or sell the unit, and E2SHB 1277 (effective July 25, 2021), which provides funding for state rental assistance programs.

Some local jurisdictions are also extending their own eviction moratoriums, such as Kirkland (see Ordinance No. O-4759) and Kenmore (see Emergency Rule 20-03.6 and Ordinance No. 21-0525, which prohibits landlords from pursuing collection unless they have certified they have made good faith efforts to obtain rental assistance and includes a required certification form).

The utility shutoff and late fee prohibitions in Proclamation 20-23.15 are still in effect through 11:59 PM on July 31, 2021, or the termination of the governors state of emergency, whichever comes first. The federal government has approved funding to provide relief to utilities and utility customers for more information, see our blog posts New Federal Funding for Rent and Utility Assistance and American Rescue Plan Provides More Relief to Local Governments.

While we expect significant easing of restrictions starting June 30, 2021, we do not expect the declaration of emergency set forth in February 2020 through Proclamation 20-05 to be rescinded yet. Governor Inslees press release announcing the reopening included the clarification that the announcement does not mean that Washingtons state of emergency will lift on June 30.

Here is what we understand things may look like starting June 30, however we do not have confirmation:

Regarding public meetings, our current understanding is that the OPMA Proclamation 20-28.15 will remain in effect. This means there will continue to be a remote meeting requirement, with an optional in-person component. However, we expect most restrictions for the in-person component to be lifted, consistent with any changes to the Miscellaneous Venues guidance. Masking will probably remain a requirement for unvaccinated individuals per the Washington State Secretary of HealthsOrder 20-03.2regarding facial coverings, and likely social distancing recommendations for unvaccinated attendees per CDC guidance.

As stated earlier, well publish a new blog post around June 30 once we have more details, so stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, check our COVID-19 Governors Proclamations and State Guidance page for additional updates.

MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.

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This is when Hawaii will drop its COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated travelers – SF Gate

Posted: at 11:27 pm

In two weeks, vaccinated travelers to Hawaii will find it much easier to enter the island state.

Gov. David Ige announced Thursday that the island state was planning to lift testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers from the mainland United States on July 8. However, those who are unvaccinated will still be required to have a negative COVID test before entering Hawaii.

Travelers who wish to be exempt from a 10-day quarantine will need to upload vaccination cards to a state website and carry a hard copy while in Hawaii.

The expansion of the "vaccine passport" comes after interisland travel resumed in May, though only for Hawaii residents who had been vaccinated in the state. Earlier this month, the state announced that interisland travel would no longer require a COVID test.

Ige had set a goal of 60% of Hawaii's residents to be vaccinated as a prerequisite for the expansion of the state's "vaccine passport" program. That goal is expected to be reached by July 8, the governor said.

In addition, other rules will also be eased on July 8. Restaurants will be able to expand their capacity to 75%, but social distancing between tables will not change. And when indoors, people will still be required to wear masks.

Thursday's announcements and easing are significant steps in fully reopening Hawaii, which shut down to travelers in March 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19. The state slowly began welcoming back travelers in October 2020 through the Safe Travels program, which had stringent requirements for travelers, including taking COVID-19 diagnostic tests through specific testing partners. Those who arrived without negative COVID tests were required to undergo a 10-day quarantine.

The Safe Travels program has been a critical factor in safely reopening Hawaii, allowing millions to visit and restoring jobs. For every 50 people that travel to Hawaii, one full-time job is restored for a year, Lt. Gov. Josh Green previously told SFGATE.

All pandemic restrictions will lift when Hawaii reaches a 70% vaccination rate.

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Houston Health Department hosting COVID-19 vaccine town hall in Sharpstown – City of Houston

Posted: at 11:27 pm

Houston Health Department hosting COVID-19 vaccine town hall in Sharpstown

June 24, 2021

HOUSTON- The Sharpstown community is invited to bring questions about the COVID-19 vaccine to an upcoming town hall meeting hosted by the Houston Health Department.

Take Your Best Shot: COVID-19 Vaccine Community Conversationtakes place June 29, 2021 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Drive. Virtual participation is available atbit.ly/vaxsharpstown.

Health experts will be on hand to provide information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, answer questions and concerns, and provide information aboutnearby free vaccination sites.

Participants can win one of five $50 restaurant gift cards.

The town hall is the first in a series the health department is hosting throughout Houston.

Find nearby free Houston Health Department-affiliated COVID-19 vaccination sites atHoustonHealth.orgor by calling 832-393-4220.

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Emperor ‘appears concerned’ about COVID-19 spread by Games, says steward – Reuters

Posted: at 11:27 pm

Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, wearing face masks, arrive at the National Theatre to attend the national memorial service for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, in Tokyo, Japan March 11, 2021. Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO, June 24 (Reuters) - Japanese Emperor Naruhito "appears concerned" about the possibility the Olympic Games could cause the coronavirus to spread as feared by many members of the public, the head of the Imperial Household Agency (IHA) said on Thursday.

While the emperor's concern was framed as the official's impression rather than something he explicitly expressed, the rare insight into the monarch's thinking on the Games lit up social media, with many wondering whether there would be a formal address on the topic.

"The emperor is extremely worried about the current status of coronavirus infections," IHA Grand Steward Yasuhiko Nishimura told a regular news conference on Thursday.

"Given the public's worries, he appears to me to be concerned about whether the Olympics and Paralymics event, for which he is honorary patron, would cause infections to spread."

As news of the chamberlain's comment spread, "IHA Grand Steward" and related key words were tagged on tens of thousands of posts on Twitter.

The emperor has no political power but is widely respected as a figurehead in Japan, although it is rare for him to make public statements. His attendance at the opening ceremony on July 23 has not been decided, the IHA said.

Asked about the comment, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters he did not believe that the chamberlain's remarks indicated that there were any problems with preparations for the Games, which were delayed for a year by the pandemic.

"Our responsibility is to alleviate the concerns of the public and ensure that the Games are held in a safe and secure manner, and we will continue to work at that," Muto said.

Many Japanese remain sceptical about the possibility of holding even a scaled-down Games safely during the pandemic. Organisers have excluded foreign spectators and limited the number of domestic ones for the event. Alcohol, high-fives and talking loudly will also be banned. read more

'SITUATION STILL DIRE'

Japan has largely avoided the kind of explosive coronavirus outbreaks that have devastated other countries, but its vaccine roll-out was initially slow and the medical system has been pushed to the brink in some places.

On Thursday, advisers to the Tokyo metropolitan government warned that people were moving around more after the government lifted a state of emergency in the capital and elsewhere this week, and that could cause infections to creep up.

The medical system remained stretched to the limit as health workers were also busy vaccinating the public, one expert said.

They also warned of signs that more infectious variants could spread rapidly in coming weeks and months.

"Although we're now in a 'quasi' state of emergency, the situation is still very dire," Tokyo Vice Governor Mitsuchika Tarao told reporters, standing in for Governor Yuriko Koike, who was hospitalised this week to recover from fatigue.

Underscoring such concerns, a second member of the Ugandan team tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, several days after the team member had tested negative upon arrival in Japan.

Earlier in the week, the World Health Organization's head of emergencies programme, Mike Ryan, noted that infection rates in Japan had been falling, and said they compared favourably to other countries that were hosting big events. read more

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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NIH begins study of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and postpartum – National Institutes of Health

Posted: at 11:27 pm

News Release

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Researchers will evaluate antibody responses in vaccinated participants and their infants.

A new observational study has begun to evaluate the immune responses generated by COVID-19 vaccines administered to pregnant or postpartum people. Researchers will measure the development and durability of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in people vaccinated during pregnancy or the first two postpartum months. Researchers also will assess vaccine safety and evaluate the transfer of vaccine-induced antibodies to infants across the placenta and through breast milk.

The study, called MOMI-VAX, is sponsored and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. MOMI-VAX is conducted by theNIAID-funded Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC).

Tens of thousands of pregnant and breastfeeding people in the United States have chosen to receive the COVID-19 vaccines available under emergency use authorization. However, we lack robust, prospective clinical data on vaccination in these populations, said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., The results of this study will fill gaps in our knowledge and help inform policy recommendations and personal decision-making on COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and in the postpartum period.

Pregnant people with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized, be admitted to the intensive care unit, require mechanical ventilation, and die from the illness than their non-pregnant peers. Severe COVID-19 during pregnancy also may put the infant at risk for complications such as preterm birth. Individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding can choose to receive authorized COVID-19 vaccines, and studies to gather safety data in these populations are ongoing. So far, COVID-19 vaccines appear to be safe in these populations. The NIAID study will build on these studies by improving the understanding of antibody responses to COVID-19 vaccines among pregnant and postpartum people and the transfer of antibodies to their infants during pregnancy or through breast milk. Experience with other diseases suggests that the transfer of vaccine-induced antibodies from mother to baby could help protect newborns and infants from COVID-19 during early life.

Investigators will enroll up to 750 pregnant individuals and 250 postpartum individuals within two months of delivery who have received or will receive any COVID-19 vaccine authorized or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Their infants also will be enrolled in the study. Vaccines are not provided to participants as part of the study protocol. Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines are available in the United States under emergency use authorization: the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines and the Johnson & Johnson adenoviral vector vaccine. The study is designed to assess up to five types of FDA-licensed or authorized COVID-19 vaccines, should additional options become available.

Participants and their infants will be followed through the first year after delivery. To assess the development and durability of vaccine-induced antibodies overall and by vaccine type and vaccine platform, researchers will analyze blood samples collected from pregnant and postpartum participants. These samples will be collected at study enrollment; at delivery for participants who enrolled during pregnancy; and two, six, and 12 months after delivery. Pregnant participants enrolled in the study prior to receiving the vaccine will have blood drawn at enrollment as well as approximately one month after vaccination. To assess transfer of antibodies through the placenta and the levels and durability of antibodies in infants, researchers will perform antibody testing on samples from umbilical cord blood collected at delivery and blood samples collected from infants two and six months after delivery.

Investigators also will assess the potential effects on maternal immune responses and transfer of antibodies across the placenta according to the mothers age, the trimester of pregnancy during which the vaccine was received, the mothers health, and the mothers COVID-19 risk status. Additionally, mothers will have the option of providing breast milk samples at approximately two weeks, two months, six months, and 12 months after delivery. The investigators will evaluate breast milk antibodies to assess the potential for protection against COVID-19 in breastfed infants. Study staff also will gather information on COVID-19 illnesses in pregnant and postpartum participants, birth and neonatal outcomes, and COVID-19 illnesses in infant participants.

The work is led by principal investigators Flor M. Munoz, M.D., of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and Richard H. Beigi, M.D., of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The study will be conducted at up to 20 clinical research sites nationwide. More information about the study, including a list of sites, is available on the IDCRC website.

NIAID conducts and supports researchat NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwideto study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

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Effect of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 on life expectancy across populations in the USA and other high income countries: simulations of provisional…

Posted: at 11:27 pm

Objective To estimate changes in life expectancy in 2010-18 and during the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 across population groups in the United States and to compare outcomes with peer nations.

Design Simulations of provisional mortality data.

Setting US and 16 other high income countries in 2010-18 and 2020, by sex, including an analysis of US outcomes by race and ethnicity.

Population Data for the US and for 16 other high income countries from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Human Mortality Database, respectively.

Main outcome measures Life expectancy at birth, and at ages 25 and 65, by sex, and, in the US only, by race and ethnicity. Analysis excluded 2019 because life table data were not available for many peer countries. Life expectancy in 2020 was estimated by simulating life tables from estimated age specific mortality rates in 2020 and allowing for 10% random error. Estimates for 2020 are reported as medians with fifth and 95th centiles.

Results Between 2010 and 2018, the gap in life expectancy between the US and the peer country average increased from 1.88 years (78.66 v 80.54 years, respectively) to 3.05 years (78.74 v 81.78 years). Between 2018 and 2020, life expectancy in the US decreased by 1.87 years (to 76.87 years), 8.5 times the average decrease in peer countries (0.22 years), widening the gap to 4.69 years. Life expectancy in the US decreased disproportionately among racial and ethnic minority groups between 2018 and 2020, declining by 3.88, 3.25, and 1.36 years in Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White populations, respectively. In Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black populations, reductions in life expectancy were 18 and 15 times the average in peer countries, respectively. Progress since 2010 in reducing the gap in life expectancy in the US between Black and White people was erased in 2018-20; life expectancy in Black men reached its lowest level since 1998 (67.73 years), and the longstanding Hispanic life expectancy advantage almost disappeared.

Conclusions The US had a much larger decrease in life expectancy between 2018 and 2020 than other high income nations, with pronounced losses among the Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black populations. A longstanding and widening US health disadvantage, high death rates in 2020, and continued inequitable effects on racial and ethnic minority groups are likely the products of longstanding policy choices and systemic racism.

In 2020, covid-19 became the third leading cause of death in the United States1 and was thus expected to substantially lower life expectancy for that year (box 1). The US had more deaths from covid-19 than any other country in the world and among the highest per capita mortality rates.5 This surge in deaths prompted speculation that the US would have a larger decrease in life expectancy in 2020 than peer nations, but empirical evidence has not been published. Americans entered the pandemic at a distinct disadvantage relative to other high income peer nations: improvements in overall life expectancy have not kept pace with those in peer countries since the 1980s,6 and in 2011, life expectancy in the US plateaued and then decreased for three consecutive years, further widening the gap in mortality with peer nations.7

Life expectancy is a widely used statistic for summarizing a populations mortality rates at a given time.2 It reflects how long a group of people can expect to live were they to experience at each age the prevailing age specific mortality rates of that year.3 Estimates of life expectancy are sometimes misunderstood. We cannot know the future age specific mortality rates for people born or living today, but we do know the current rates. Computing life expectancy (at birth, or at ages 25 or 65) based on these rates is valuable for understanding and comparing a countrys mortality profile over time or across places at a given point in time. Estimates of life expectancy during the covid-19 pandemic, such as those reported here, can help clarify which people or places were most affected, but they do not predict how long a group of people will live. This study estimated life expectancy for 2020. Life expectancy for 2021 and subsequent years, and how quickly life expectancy will rebound, cannot be calculated until data for these years become available. Although life expectancy is expected to recover in time to levels before the pandemic, past pandemics have shown that survivors can be left with lifelong consequences, depending on their age and other socioeconomic circumstances.4

The effect of the pandemic on life expectancy extends beyond deaths attributed to covid-19.8 Studies have found an even larger number of excess deaths during the pandemic, inflated by undocumented deaths from covid-19 and by deaths from non-covid-19 causes resulting from disruptions by the pandemic (eg, reduced access to healthcare, economic pressures, and mental health crises).9101112 Some racial and ethnic populations and age groups have been disproportionately affected.131415 Research on how the pandemic has affected life expectancy is only just emerging.1617 Few studies have examined reductions in 2020 life expectancy across racial and ethnic groups, and none has compared the decline in the US with other countries.

We estimated life expectancy at birth and at ages 25 and 65, examining the US population (in aggregate and by sex, and by race and ethnicity) and the populations of 16 high income countries (in aggregate and by sex). Estimates of life expectancy for 2010-18 were calculated from official life tables and were modeled for 2020. Estimates for 2019 would have been preferable to determine the effect of the covid-19 pandemic but life table data were unavailable for many peer countries. Life expectancy in the US is estimated to have increased by only 0.1 years between 2018 and 2019,18 however, and therefore the changes seen in life expectancy between 2018 and 2020 are largely attributable to the events of 2020.

Data for peer countries did not include information on race or ethnicity. US data were examined for three racial and ethnic groups that constitute more than 90% of the total population: Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White populations. Although many US individuals self-identify as Latino or Latina, we used Hispanic to maintain consistency with data sources. White and Black populations in this study refer to people in these racial groups who do not identify as Hispanic or Latinx.19 Estimates for other important racial groups, such as Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American (American Indians and Alaskan Natives) could not be calculated because the National Center for Health Statistics does not provide official life tables for these populations.

US life tables for 2010-18 were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics.202122232425262728 Weekly age specific death counts for all men and women in the US and for Black, White, and Hispanic men and women in the US for the years 2018 and 2020 were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics AH (ad hoc) Excess Deaths by Sex, Age, and Race file.29 Mid-year population estimates by age, sex, and race and ethnicity for men and women in the US for 2015-19 were obtained from the US Census Bureau.30 Population counts for 2020 were estimated from age specific trends in US population estimates for 2015-19. The National Center for Health Statistics and US Census data were merged at ages 0-14, 15-19, . . . 80-84, 85 to calculate age specific death rates (mx) for 2018 and 2020 for men and women in the US in aggregate and by race and ethnicity.

Peer countries included 16 high income democracies with adequate data for analysis: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. Taiwan was treated as a country for our analysis although many countries do not recognize it as an independent country. Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Japan were not included because of incomplete mortality data. To estimate life expectancy in these countries, five year abridged life tables for male and female populations of the peer countries were obtained for 2010-18 from the Human Mortality Database31 (direct sources3233 were used for Israel and New Zealand because current data were lacking in the Human Mortality Database). Weekly death counts in 2018 and 2020 by country for ages 0-14, 15-64, 65-74, 75-84, and 85 were obtained from the Human Mortality Database Short Term Mortality Fluctuations files.

To calculate life expectancy estimates for 2020, we used data from the National Center for Health Statistics and US Census Bureau to estimate rate ratios between the age specific mortality rates of 2018 (2018 mx) and 2020 (2020 mx) for US populations. For populations in peer countries, values for 2018 mx and 2020 mx, taken from data in the Human Mortality Database Short Term Mortality Fluctuations files, were estimated for ages 0-14, 15-64, 65-74, 75-84, and 85. Age specific mortality rate ratios between 2020 mx and 2018 mx data in the Human Mortality Database Short Term Mortality Fluctuations were estimated for each peer country in aggregate and by sex. Age specific probabilities of death in 2020 (qx), for ages 0-1, 1-4, 5-9, . . . 90-94, 95-99, 100, were estimated separately for men and women in the US and for men and women in specific race and ethnic group populations by multiplying 2018 mx28 by the 2020-18 rate ratio estimates derived from data from the National Center for Health Statistics and US Census Bureau, and calculating qx=(mxn)/(1+mxax), where qx is the age specific probability of death, mx is the age specific mortality rate, n is the width of the age interval, and ax is the age specific person years lived by the deceased.34 Probabilities of death for each peer country in 2020 were estimated by multiplying qx in the Human Mortality Database life tables by the 2020-18 rate ratios in the Human Mortality Database Short Term Mortality Fluctuations data.

We used Python (version 3.9.1) to simulate 50000 five year abridged 2020 life tables for each US subpopulation, with the estimated qx for 2020, ax derived from 2018 official life tables,28 and random 10% error in the qx estimate. For each peer country population, 50000 five year abridged 2020 life tables were simulated with the estimated 2020 qx and 2018 ax values in the Human Mortality Database 2018 life tables, and random 10% error in the qx estimate. We present median estimates of 2020 life expectancy at birth and at ages 25 and 65; fifth and 95th centiles are presented in the tables. The supplementary material provides further details on methods.

Involving patients or the public in the design, conduct, reporting, or dissemination plans of our research was not possible because of the urgency of the analysis and its focus on decedents.

After a small increase of 0.08 years between 2010 and 2018, life expectancy in the US at birth decreased by an estimated 1.87 years (or 2.4%) between 2018 and 2020 (fig 1 and supplementary fig 1). The proportional decrease in life expectancy at ages 25 and 65 was even greater (3.4% and 5.7%, respectively) (table 1). US men had a larger decrease in overall life expectancy than women, in both absolute (2.16 years v 1.50 years) and relative (2.8% v 1.8%) terms.

Life expectancy at birth in the United States, by race and ethnicity, and in peer countries, for years 2010-18 and 2020. Data obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics, US Census Bureau, and Human Mortality Database. Data for 2019 could not be calculated because life table data were unavailable for many peer countries

Life expectancy in the United States at birth, and at ages 25 and 65, by sex, for years 2010, 2018, and 2020

Between 2018 and 2020, life expectancy in the US decreased disproportionately among Black and Hispanic populations (table 2). In the Black population, life expectancy decreased by 3.25 years (4.4%), 2.4 times the decrease in the White population (1.36 years, 1.7%), with larger reductions in men (3.56 years, 5.0%) than women (2.65 years, 3.4%). In 2020, life expectancy in Black men was only 67.73 years. The decrease in life expectancy among Hispanic individuals was even larger (3.88 years, 4.7%), 2.9 times the decrease in White people, with larger reductions in men (4.58 years, 5.8%) than women (2.94 years, 3.5%).

Life expectancy in the United States at birth, and at ages 25 and 65, by sex, race, and ethnicity, for years 2010, 2018, and 2020

The disproportionate decrease in life expectancy in the US Black population during 2018-20 reversed years of progress in reducing the gap in mortality between Black and White populations. Although the gap in life expectancy between Black and White populations decreased from 4.02 years in 2010 to 3.54 years in 2014, the gap increased to 3.92 years in 2018, and to 5.81 years in 2020. Historically, the US Hispanic population has had a longer life expectancy than the White population.3536 Although that advantage widened between 2010 and 2017, from 2.91 years to 3.30 years, the gap decreased to 3.20 years in 2018 and then decreased sharply to 0.68 years in 2020 (table 2); the advantage reversed entirely in Hispanic men (from 2.88 years in 2018 to 0.20 years in 2020).

Figure 1 presents estimates of life expectancy for 2010-18 and 2020 for the US and the average for 16 high income countries. The US began the decade with a 1.88 year deficit in life expectancy relative to peer countries. This gap increased over the decade, reaching 3.05 years in 2018. Between 2018 and 2020, the gap widened substantially to 4.69 years: the 1.87 year decrease in life expectancy in the US was 8.5 times the average decrease in peer countries (0.22 years). Table 3 presents the estimates of life expectancy for peer countries at birth, and at ages 25 and 65 in 2010, 2018, and 2020.

Average life expectancy in peer countries at birth, and at ages 25 and 65, by sex, for years 2010, 2018, and 2020

Changes in life expectancy varied substantially across peer countries. Six countries (Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, and Taiwan) had increases in life expectancy between 2018 and 2020. Among the other 10 peer countries, decreases in life expectancy ranged from 0.12 years in Sweden to 1.09 years in Spain, but none approached the 1.87 year loss seen in the US.

Figure 2 (and supplementary fig 2) contrasts changes in life expectancy in the US in 2010-18 and 2018-20 with those of peer countries, based on sex, and on race and ethnicity. Figure 3 (and supplementary fig 3) shows how these changes contributed to the gap between the US and peer countries. For example, figure 2 shows that life expectancy for US women increased by 0.21 years in 2010-18, but because life expectancy in women in the peer countries increased even more (0.98 years), the gap increased by 0.77 years (fig 3). The gap increased by another 1.36 years during 2018-20, largely because of the pandemic. Overall, the gap between the US and peer countries for women increased by 2.14 years (fig 3), from 1.97 years in 2010 (81.04 v 83.01 years) to 4.11 years (79.75 v 83.86 years) in 2020 (table 1 and table 3). The gap between the US and peer countries for men increased even more (3.37 years) (fig 3). In 2020, life expectancy for US men was 5.27 years (74.06 v 79.33 years) shorter than the peer country average for men.

Changes in life expectancy at birth in US populations and peer country average, for years 2010-18 and 2018-20. For example, life expectancy in the US for women increased by 0.21 years in 2010-18 and then decreased by 1.50 years in 2018-20. Data derived from the National Center for Health Statistics, US Census Bureau, and Human Mortality Database

Increasing gap in life expectancy between the United States and peer country average, for years 2010-18 and 2018-20. For example, the gap between life expectancy for men in the US men and the average life expectancy for men in peer countries increased by 1.50 years in 2010-18 and by a further 1.87 years in 2018-20. Data derived from the National Center for Health Statistics, US Census Bureau, and Human Mortality Database. Sums might differ because of rounding

The demographic composition and ethnic inequities of peer countries varied considerably, making it difficult to identify analogous reference populations to compare with the US racial and ethnic groups. But the peer country average provides a useful benchmark for showing the disproportionately large decreases in life expectancy in Black and Hispanic populations in the US (fig 1,fig 2, and fig 3). For example, among Black men and women in the US, the decrease in life expectancy between 2018 and 2020 was 12.3 times and 20.3 times greater, respectively, than the average decrease for men and women in peer countries. The corresponding values were even larger for the Hispanic population in the US, with estimated declines in life expectancy 15.9 times and 22.5 times higher among men and women, respectively, compared with their counterparts in peer countries.

Long before covid-19, the US was at a disadvantage relative to other high income nations in terms of health and survival.63738394041 In 2013, a report by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine showed that from the 1980s, the US had higher rates of morbidity and mortality for multiple conditions relative to other high income countries.6 A recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that this gap widened further through 2017 and that the greatest relative increase in mortality in the US occurred in young and middle aged adults (aged 25-64). Increased mortality in this age group was largely because of deaths from drug use, suicide, cardiometabolic diseases, and other chronic illnesses and injuries.42 Between 2014 and 2017, whereas life expectancy continued to increase in other countries, life expectancy in the US decreased by 0.3 years,7 a three year decline that generated considerable public concern43 but is now overshadowed by the large 2020 declines reported here. Even countries with much lower per capita incomes outperform the US.44454647 According to data for 36 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the gap in life expectancy between the US and the OECD average increased from 0.9 to 2.2 years between 2010 and 2017.4849

This study shows that the gap in life expectancy in the US increased markedly between 2018 and 2020. The decrease in life expectancy in the US was 8.5 times the average loss seen in 16 high income peer nations and the largest decrease since 1943 during the second world war.50 The conditions that produced a US health disadvantage before the arrival of covid-19 are still in place, but the predominant cause for this large decline was the covid-19 pandemic: in 2020, all cause mortality in the US increased by 23%.12

We found large differences in the reductions in life expectancy during the covid-19 pandemic based on race and ethnicity. Decreases in life expectancy among Black and Hispanic men and women were about two to three times greater than in White people, and far larger than those in peer countries. Decreases in life expectancy of US Black and Hispanic men were 12-16 times greater than those in men from other high income countries. Corresponding decreases in life expectancy among US Black and Hispanic women were 20-23 times greater than those for women in peer countries. Progress made between 2010 and 2018 in reducing the gap in life expectancy between Black and White populations in the US was erased between 2018 and 2020. Life expectancy in Black men fell to 67.73 years, a level not seen since 1998.51 The US Hispanic life expectancy advantage was erased in men and nearly disappeared in women.

Our study estimated the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on life expectancy in the US for 2020, and compared life expectancy in the US with other high income countries. The study used a new method for these calculations, detailed in the supplementary appendix. The study also had several limitations. First, life expectancies for 2020 were simulated with preliminary mortality data, which are subject to errors (eg, undercounting, and mismatching between death and population counts) and often vary across racial and ethnic populations and countries. Second, the 2020 qx values used to generate life tables for peer populations could have been biased by the wide age ranges used in the Human Mortality Database Short Term Mortality Fluctuations files. Third, definitions for peer countries vary; our list differs from the 16 high income countries used in several cross national comparisons.63738 Five large high income democracies (Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Japan) were excluded because of incomplete data. Fourth, we compared life expectancy in 2020 with 2018 values; the effect of the pandemic would be better determined by comparisons with life expectancy in 2019, but data for many peer countries were unavailable for this calculation Fifth, for reasons explained in the supplementary material, data on race and ethnicity for the US population and for 2020 deaths were incomplete,52 likely underestimating racial inequalities. Reports suggest that covid-19 and all cause mortality in 2020 were very high in American Indian and Alaskan Native populations.53 Finally, we used the average for peer countries; values for individual countries varied.

This study aligns closely with previous research. An analysis of deaths between January and June 2020 found that US life expectancy decreased by 1.0 years between 2019 and 2020, including reductions of 0.8 years in White people and reductions of 2.7 years and 1.9 years in Black and Hispanic individuals, respectively.17 Andrasfay and Goldman estimated that life expectancy from January to mid-October 2020 was 1.1 years below expected values, including a reduction of 0.7 years in White populations and reductions of 2.1 and 3.1 years in Black and Hispanic populations, respectively.16 Neither study examined changes in life expectancy in other countries or estimated life expectancy in the US for the whole of 2020.

The decreases in life expectancy that we found and the excess deaths reported in several studies of 2020 death counts9101112 could reflect the combined effects of deaths attributed to covid-19, deaths where SARS Co-V-2 infection was unrecognized or undocumented, and deaths from non-covid-19 health conditions, exacerbated by limited access to healthcare and by widespread social and economic disruptions produced by the pandemic (eg, unemployment, food insecurity, and homelessness).854 These adverse outcomes are products of national, state, and local policy decisions, and actions and inactions that influenced viral transmission and management of the pandemic.555657585960 These policies span healthcare, public health, employment, education, and social protection systems. Many organizations are tracking these decisions internationally for ongoing research and development.61626364

The large number of covid-19 deaths in the US reflects not only the countrys policy choices and mishandling of the pandemic555657585960 but also deeply rooted factors that have put the country at a health disadvantage for decades.676566 For much of the public, it was the pandemic itself that drew attention to these longstanding conditions, including major deficiencies in the US healthcare and public health systems, widening social and economic inequality, and stark inequities and injustices experienced by Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Indigenous populations and other systematically marginalized and excluded groups. Many studies have reported that rates of covid-19 infections, admissions to hospital, and deaths are substantially higher in Black and Hispanic populations compared with White people, because of greater exposure to the virus, a higher prevalence of comorbid conditions (eg, diabetes), and reduced access to healthcare and other protective resources.6768

Evidence of disproportionate reductions in life expectancy among racial and ethnic groups in the US, such as the disparities reported here, draws attention to the root causes of racial inequities in health, wealth, and wellbeing. Foremost among these root causes is systemic racism; extensive research has shown that systems of power in the US structure opportunity and assign value in ways that unfairly disadvantage Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Indigenous populations, and unfairly advantage White people.69707172737475 Many of the same factors placed these populations at greater risk from covid-19.1314157677787980 The higher prevalence of comorbid conditions in many racial or marginalized groups is a reflection of unequal access to the social determinants of health (eg, education, income, and justice) and not their race, ethnicity, or other socially determined constructs. Low income communities and women have also been disproportionately affected by the social, familial, and economic disruptions of the pandemic.8182 Reduced access to covid-19 vaccines, and vaccine hesitancy rooted in a communitys distrust of systems that have mistreated them, might exacerbate these disparities. Structural factors affect not only Black and Hispanic populations but other marginalized people and places. American Indians and Alaskan Natives, for example, have some of the worst health outcomes of any group in the US, but data limitations precluded separate calculations for these important populations.

The mortality outcomes examined in this study, in the research literature, and in the daily news represent only part of the burden of covid-19; for every death, a larger number of infected individuals experience acute illness, and many face long term health and life complications.83 Whether some of these long term complications will affect how quickly life expectancy in the US will rebound in the coming years is unclear. Morbidity and mortality during the pandemic have wider effects on families, neighborhoods, and communities. One study estimated that each death leaves behind an average of nine bereaved family members.84 The pandemic will have short and long term effects on the social determinants of health, changing living conditions in many communities, and altering life course trajectories across age groups. Fully understanding the health consequences of these changes poses a daunting but important challenge for future research.

Because of systemic factors in the United States, the gap between life expectancy in the US and other high income countries has been widening for decades

In 2020, the US had more deaths from the covid-19 pandemic than any other country, but no study has quantified how the years large number of deaths affected life expectancy in the US or the gap with peer countries

Between 2018 and 2020, largely because of the covid-19 pandemic, life expectancy in the US decreased by 1.87 years, 8.5 times the average decrease in peer countries, widening the gap in life expectancy with peer countries to 4.69 years

In the US, decreases in life expectancy in Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black people were about two to three times greater than in the non-Hispanic White population, reversing years of progress in reducing racial and ethnic disparities, and lowering the life expectancy of Black men to 67.73 years, a level not seen since 1998

Ethical approval: Not required.

Data sharing: Requests for additional data and analytic scripts used in this study should be emailed to RKM (Ryan.Masters@colorado.edu).

We thank Steven Martin, Urban Institute, for reviewing our methodology; Cassandra Ellison, art director for the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health, for her assistance with graphic design; and Catherine Talbot, University of Colorado Boulder, for her advice with Python simulations. These individuals received no compensation beyond their salaries.

Contributors: SHW led the production of this manuscript and had primary responsibility for the composition. He is guarantor. RKM contributed revisions and had primary responsibility for data acquisition and analysis, the modeling results that form the basis for this study, and production of the supplementary material. LYA contributed revisions and had primary responsibility for dealing with the studys policy implications in the discussion section. The corresponding author attests that all listed authors meet authorship criteria and that no others meeting the criteria have been omitted.

Funding: SHW received partial funding from grant UL1TR002649 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. RKM received support from the University of Colorado Population Center grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health and Human Development (CUPC project 2P2CHD066613-06). There was no specific funding for this study.

Competing interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at http://www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and declare: no support from any organization for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; and no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

The lead author (SHW) affirms that the manuscript is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned have been explained.

Dissemination to participants and related patient and public communities: Print, broadcast, and social medial will be used to disseminate the results of this study to journalists and the public, and summaries will be shared with policy makers, social justice organizations, and other relevant stakeholders.

Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Woolf SH, Aron L, eds. U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. Panel on Understanding Cross-National Health Differences Among High-Income Countries. National Research Council, Committee on Population, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Institute of Medicine. National Academies Press, 2013.

Rossen LM, Branum AM, Ahmad FB, Sutton P, Anderson RN. Excess deaths associated with COVID-19, by age and race and ethnicity. United States, January 26-October 3, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1522-27.

Arias E, Tejada-Vera B, Ahmad F. Provisional life expectancy estimates for January through June, 2020. Vital Statistics Rapid Release; no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. doi:10.15620/cdc:100392.

Arias E. United States life tables, 2002. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 53 no 6. National Center for Health Statistics, 2004; volume 53, No 6.

Council on Foreign Relations. Improving Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons From COVID-19. Independent Task Force Report No 78. Council on Foreign Relations, 2020.

Preston S, Vierboom Y. Why do Americans die earlier than Europeans? The Guardian, May 4 2021.

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Oakland County to give $50 gift card to those who get COVID-19 shot by July 4 – Detroit Free Press

Posted: at 11:27 pm

Oakland County residents who haven't received a COVID-19 vaccine yet can get a $50 gift card from the county health division if they get one by the Fourth of July.

The incentivekicks off Thursday and is forcounty residents age 12 and older who are eligible for a vaccine,with officials hoping to entice younger adults and teens as only 54% of county residents ages 16to 29 have received their first shot.

RN Danielle White with the Oakland County Health Department, left, administers the Pfizer Covid vaccine to third year pre-med student Gerard Knittel, 20, of Almont as Oakland University holds a Covid vaccine clinic at their Recreation Center for 18-24-year olds Tuesday, April 13, 2021.(Photo: Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press)

The gift card will be for any county residentwho receives at least one dose ofa COVID-19 vaccine from a health division clinic oranother COVID-19 vaccine provider in Michigan, while supplies last. Those under age 18 are eligible to receive a gift card with the consent of their parent or legal guardian, according to a news release Wednesday.

"Vaccination remains the best tool to beat this pandemic, County Executive Dave Coulter said. We have made great strides in our efforts but there is still work to be done, and with more and more of our residents getting vaccinated, Im confident all of our summer plans will be back to normal very soon.

Residents who get vaccinated at a provider other than the health divisioncan get their gift card by completing a survey at OaklandCountyVaccine.com. Those who don't have internet access can contact theNurse on Call at 800-848-5533. Residents also canuse thoseresources to find a vaccination clinic.

The gift card will be mailed after the heath division verifies the person's vaccination status.

A stack of vaccination cards.(Photo: Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press)

The announcement came the same day that a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee metto review reports of heart complications among teens and young adults after they were immunized with either a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices acknowledged there likely is an association between myocarditis inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis inflammation of thepericardium, the thin membrane around heart among 12- to 39-year-olds following vaccination.

Cases have been reported at a rate of 12.6 per million people within 21 days after a second dose of the vaccine, though some cases have also been reported after the first dose as well. The complication is more likely to occur in boys and young men, and the condition is most likely to appear within the first five days after vaccination.

Through June 11, 39.3 million mRNA vaccines were administered in the U.S. to 12- to 39-year-olds. There were 527 reports of myocarditis/pericarditis submitted to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) within seven days of receiving a second dose of a vaccine.

Still, the committee found that the risk of severe COVID-19 illness and hospitalization among unvaccinated adolescents and young adults was higher in every age group than the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis. And most people who developed the heart complication post-vaccination have made full recoveries.

Currently, the benefit still clearly outweighs the risks for COVID vaccinations in adolescents and young adults, said Dr. Sara Oliver, lead for the COVID-19 Vaccines ACIP Work Group.

Prepared COVID-19 vaccines(Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press)

President Joe Biden is hoping for 70% of adult Americans to have had at least one dose of vaccine by July 4, but federal officials said Tuesday they may fall short of that goal.

Most COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan, including maskand gathering orders, were lifted Tuesday as cases and hospitalizations fall. Just over61%(more than 4.9 million) residents age 16 andolder have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the state's COVID-19 vaccine dashboard.

More: Whitmer reopens state: 'Our pure Michigan summer is back'

More than 68% of Oakland County residents age 16 and older have received at least their first dose of vaccine. The county is shooting to reach the 70% mark by the Fourth of July.

Vaccination also helps slow the spread of COVID-19 virus variants circulating in our state, including the concerning Delta variant, said Dr. Russell Faust, Oakland County's medical director. I urge everyone age 12 and up who has not yet received their vaccine to get it as soon as possible so we keep the presence of COVID-19 in our communities low.

More: Michigan confirms 25 cases of COVID-19's highly contagious delta variant

More: Uncooperative Bay County hair stylist made tracking P.1 variant in Michigan even harder

Two cases of the delta variant have been identified in Oakland County. That is the strain that originated in India and is highly transmissible and may cause more serious infection.

As of Wednesday, 32 cases of the delta variant have been identified in sevenMichigan counties and the city of Detroit. Eleven of thecases were identified in out-of-state people who were tested in Michigan, said Lynn Sutfin, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition to Oakland County, the delta variant has been identified in seven cases in Wayne County, four each in Branch and St. Joseph countiesand one each in Lapeer, Livingston and Macomb counties as well as the city of Detroit, she said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to Biden, said Tuesday that the delta variant is now doubling in prevalence every two weeks and accounts for 20.6% of sequenced cases nationally.

More: Whitmer: COVID-19 vaccine lottery isn't legal in Michigan

Oakland County joins the city of Detroit in offering an incentive to get a COVID-19 vaccine.Since May 3, the city of Detroit has offered a $50 pre-paid debit card to Good Neighbor drivers who pre-register to bring a Detroiter to his or her first-dose vaccination.

Good Neighbor driversget $50 per shot for each appointment, but are not paid for taking anyone under age 18. There is a limit of three residents per vehicle per appointment trip, according to the city's website.

Good Neighbors can make unlimited trips, but if they make more than $600 they will be required to complete a W-9 form and receive a 1099 from the city to file with their 2021 tax return, according to the website. It states theeffort is funded by a state grant for COVID-19 vaccine programs.

Many businesses in Michigan and nationally also are offering incentives to get more shots in arms as COVID-19 inoculations wane.

Other states are offering lotteries and other items, such as West Virginia giving away new custom-outfitted trucks, five custom hunting rifles and five custom hunting shotguns among other prizes to vaccinated residents age 18 and older.

Contact Christina Hall: chall@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter: @challeporter.

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Detroiters don’t have to leave home, city will bring COVID-19 vaccine to them – Detroit Free Press

Posted: at 11:27 pm

Detroiters, you don't have to leave your house to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The city willbring the shot to you.

The city health department announced Thursday that it is expanding its home vaccination efforts to all Detroiters age 12 and older, not just those who are homebound and can't get to a vaccination clinic.

We want to make sure everyone who wants a vaccine can get one and this latest effort is taking it one step further, Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said. This is an even more personalized and public health approach. We are making house calls to anyone who wants to get vaccinated.

Registered Nurse Precious McCormick administers a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to a Detroit resident outside of the Neighborhood Service Organization in Detroit on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Central City Integrated Health paired up with The Salvation Army during their Bed & Bread Club delivery route as they deliver meals to those in need to help supply access to the COVID vaccine to Detroit residents who might not have transportation.(Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press)

Fair saidthe effort is a big undertaking, but is key to continuing the city's efforts to remove barriers and get more residents inoculated.

The city's vaccinationrate is among the lowest in the state with 37.5% of eligible residents age 12 and older receiving at least one doseof COVID-19 vaccine and 30.5% of Detroiters fully vaccinated, according to thestate's vaccine dashboard.

The dashboard indicates more than 4.9 million Michiganders age 16 and older (61.3% of the population) have received at least one dose ofCOVID-19 vaccine as of Wednesday.

More: Oakland County to give $50 gift card to those who get COVID-19 shot by July 4

More: Whitmer reopens state: 'Our pure Michigan summer is back'

Teams in the city began vaccinating homebound residents earlier this month and thateffort will continue.

But nowany Detroiterwho wants to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at home can call 313-230-0505 to schedule an appointment.

Teams also will go door-to-door letting Detroiters know of the opportunity to get a vaccine at home. Anyone interested can make an appointment or get vaccinated at that time.

Team members will be in uniforms and have identification when they arrive.

Kenya Meriedy, a nurse from Get Ready Vaccine, prepares COVID-19 vaccines in Bloomfield Hills on May 5, 2021.(Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press)

The city health department continues to offer walk-in locations throughout Detroit where residents can get inoculated with or without an appointment. For a list of locations and hours, go to http://www.detroitmi.gov.

More: Detroit to inoculate homebound residents in new COVID-19 vaccine push

More: 'I am very, very happy to get it,' homebound Redford Twp. woman says of COVID-19 vaccine

Demand for COVID-19 vaccines outpaced supply in the early months of the vaccination effort at the beginning of the year.Now,supply is outpacing demand as interest in the vaccines has waned.

Michigan lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions, including mask and gathering orders, on Tuesday as its vaccination effort continues and COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fall.

Officials are urging eligible residents to get vaccinated, especially with the delta variant circulating. That strain originated in India and is highly transmissible and may cause more serious infection.

There were 32 cases of the delta variant identified in Michigan as of Wednesday, with 11 of the cases identified in out-of-state people who were tested in Michigan, said Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswomanfor the state health department.

More: Michigan confirms 25 cases of COVID-19's highly contagious delta variant

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said Tuesday that the delta variant is now doubling in prevalence every two weeks and accounts for 20.6% of sequenced cases nationally.

Biden was hoping that 70% of adult Americans would have at least one dose of vaccine by July 4, but federal officials acknowledged earlier this week they may be short of that goal. Biden also previously announced a mayors challenge to see which city could grow its vaccination rate the most by the Fourth of July.

Mayors in Detroit, Sterling Heights and Westland are among 114mayors from dozens of states and Washington, D.C.whojoined the challenge, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors website.

Staff writer Kristen Jordan Shamus contributed to this report.

Contact Christina Hall: chall@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.

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