Bernard Black on COVID Risks
The Atlantic – ICLE Academic Affiliate Bernard Black was quoted by The Atlantic in a story about the lingering risks of COVID-19 for older Americans. You can read full piece here.
“There is substantial risk, even if you’ve gotten all the vaccines,” Bernard Black, a law professor at Northwestern University who studies health policy, told me.
… A study recently published in the journal Vaccines showed that for vaccinated adults ages 60 and over, the risk of dying from COVID versus other natural causes jumped from 11 percent to 34 percent within a year of completing their primary shot series. A booster dose brings the risk back down, but other research shows that it wears off too. A booster is a basic precaution, but “not one that everyone is taking,” Black, a co-author of the study, told me.
…”One way to think about it is that this is a new risk that’s out there” alongside other natural causes of death, such as diabetes and heart failure, Black said. But it’s a risk older Americans can’t ignore, especially as the country has dropped all COVID precautions. Since Christmas Eve, I have felt uneasy about how readily I normalized putting so little effort into protecting my nonagenarian loved ones, despite knowing what might happen if they got sick. For older people, who must contend with the peril of attending similar gatherings, “there’s sort of no good choice,” Black said. “The world has changed.”