Since the pandemic began, it has been well documented that the risk for severe illness, hospitalization, and death related to COVID-19 is highest for older adults. For people in their 50s, for example, the chances of dying from the disease is 30 times higher than it is for those 18-29 years old. That risk jumps to 90 times higher for those 65-74 years old. Now a new international survey published by The Commonwealth Fund shows that COVID-19 hit U.S. older adults hard in the pocketbook, as well, especially the Latino/Hispanic and Black populations.
The 2021 International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults assessed and compared responses from over 18,000 older adults in 11 high-income countries (e.g., Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States) to discern how COVID-19 impacted older adults in terms of economic security, access to health care, and supportive services for chronic conditions. The survey concluded that older adults in the United States suffered economically the most from the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to the other countries surveyed. At a rate four to six times higher than that of Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and others, older adults in the U.S. reported that they used up all or most of their savings or that they lost a job or source of income because of the pandemic. 
Furthermore, U.S. Latino/Hispanic and Black older adults were far more likely than white older adults to report economic hardships. While 14 percent of white American survey respondents reported experiencing economic hardships related to the pandemic, that figure shot up to 32 percent for older adults who were Black and further increased for Latino/Hispanic older adult respondents.
The United States, additionally, had the largest percentage of older adults who were not planning to get vaccinated. Reasons cited included lack of trust in the government and concerns about side effects. The CDC reports that, as of September 21st, almost 83% of adults 65 and older are currently fully vaccinated. For comparison purposes, 97% of older adults were vaccinated in the UK as of May 2021.
September 23, 2021 – C. St. John
 The Commonwealth Fund. The Impact of COVID-19 on Older Adults: Findings from the 2021 International Policy Survey of Older Adults. (Sept. 15, 2021). Available at: https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/surveys/2021/sep/impact-covid-19-older-adults
 CDC. (2021, September 21). CDC COVID Data Tracker. (Updated Sept. 21, 2021). Available at: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-total-admin-rate-total