COVID-19 has impacted the world severely, tallying over 6.28 million global deaths since its onslaught in late 2019. More than 1 million of those deaths are accounted for by the U.S. alone, with states like California and Texas taking the death toll lead.
According to the CDC, COVID-19’s death rate has increased year after year. And from 2021 to 2022, it’s become the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.
Death Rates Amid COVID Highest in Almost Two Decades
COVID-19 has first ranked as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in the year 2021 when death rates increased by over 20% from the previous year. As per the CDC’s provisional mortality data, 2021 saw 415,000 deaths associated with COVID-19, which falls just below the 605,000 cancer death count and 693,000 heart disease fatalities.
All things considered, about 3,458,697 people died in the U.S. in 2021 — the highest death rate since 2003, which is two years short of two decades.
COVID-19 Mortality Demographics
COVID-19 deaths in 2021 were highest among people ages 65 to 75, accounting for a total of 101,000. This is a big jump from 2020’s death count among the same age group, which stood at 76,000. On the other hand, fewer people above 75 years old died of COVID-19 last year, falling from 207,000 in 2020 to 178,000 in 2021.
In February of 2022, States with low vaccination rates have seen higher deaths than those that have successfully vaccinated more than 75% of their residents.
The Plan of Action
Now being the third leading cause of death in the U.S., the threat that COVID-19 brings to health and safety has been solidified. The CDC has recognized the need to undertake greater efforts to intervene with COVID-19’s impact, recommending that health authorities ensure the implementation of equal treatment plans across communities.
After a couple of months of declining cases, the data above has highlighted the fact that COVID-19 is not over yet. Deaths are increasing amid the reign of new variants BA.4 and BA.5 and health authorities are gearing up for a potential new surge.
The White House’s prediction model sees a doubling of COVID-19 cases later this year, which is leading to the return of mask mandates, testing protocols, isolation requirements, and more stringent vaccination drives. Health officials, doctors, and researchers are also investing in treatment research, promoting symptoms awareness, and prioritizing close monitoring of at-risk individuals.