Man Kai Wong, MPH1; Donald J. Brooks2; Juniorcaius Ikejezie, MSc3; Marta Gacic-Dobo, MSc2; Laure Dumolard, PhD2; Yoann Nedelec, MPH2; Claudia Steulet, MPH2; Zyleen Kassamali, MD3; Ayse Acma, MPH3; Brian N. Ajong, MPH3; Sandra Adele, MSc3; Maya Allan, MPH3; Homa Attar Cohen, PhD3; Adedoyin Awofisayo-Okuyelu, PhD3; Finlay Campbell, PhD3; Veronica Cristea, MD3; Stephane De Barros, PhD3; Ntokwo Vabi Edward, MSc3; Aura R. Escobar Corado Waeber, MSc3; Tondri N. Guinko, MPH3; Henry Laurenson-Schafer, DPhil3; Mostafa Mahran, MSc3; Raquel Medialdea Carrera, PhD3; Samuel Mesfin, MSc3; Emily Meyer, MD3; Alessandro Miglietta, PhD3; Bernadette B. Mirembe, MVPM3; Maribeth Mitri, MPH3; Ingrid Hammermeister Nezu, MSc3; Stephanie Ngai, MPH3; Ojong Ojong Ejoh, MSc3; Sydel R. Parikh, PhD3; Emilie Peron, PhD3; Nikola Sklenovská, MSc3; Savine Stoitsova, PhD3; Kazuki Shimizu, MD3; Eri Togami, DVM3; Yeo Gained Jin, DVM3; Boris I. Pavlin, MD3; Ryan T. Novak, PhD4; Olivier Le Polain, MD3; James A. Fuller, PhD5; Abdi Rahman Mahamud, MD3; Ann Lindstrand, MD2; Bradley S. Hersh, MD5; Katherine O’Brien, MD2; Maria D. Van Kerkhove, PhD3 (View author affiliations)

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What’s already acknowledged about this matter?

COVID-19 vaccines are protected and cut back COVID-19 mortality. The World Properly being Group (WHO) recommends that worldwide places prioritize populations at elevated menace, e.g., older adults, for COVID-19 vaccination with a goal of 100% safety with a achieved main assortment for populations at-risk.

What’s added by this report?

COVID-19–associated mortality amongst people aged ≥60 years exceeded 80% of entire COVID-19 mortality in 2020 and 2021 all through all income groups; nonetheless, the median reported achieved main assortment safety amongst older adults in 2022 was 76%, significantly beneath the WHO goal, significantly in middle- and low-income worldwide places.

What are the implications for public properly being observe?

Efforts are wished to increase COVID-19 main assortment and periodic booster dose safety amongst older adults as actually helpful by WHO and nationwide properly being authorities.


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ShutThe figure is a graphic explaining how worldwide, 80% of people who have died from COVID-19 are over 60. There’s a pie chart on a globe stand with 76% of the chart represented in blue. The pie chart description reads, “76% of median COVID-19 vaccination coverage among older adults. Reaching 100% vaccination of older adults globally will help save lives.” Coverage rates were reported by countries for older adults completing a primary COVID-19 vaccine series by the end of 2022.

After the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019, transmission expanded globally, and on January 30, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a public properly being emergency of worldwide concern.* Analysis of the early Wuhan, China outbreak (1), subsequently confirmed by plenty of totally different analysis (2,3), found that 80% of deaths occurred amongst people aged ≥60 years. In anticipation of the time wished for the worldwide vaccine present to satisfy all desires, the World Properly being Group (WHO) revealed the Strategic Advisory Group of Specialists on Immunization (SAGE) Values Framework and a roadmap for prioritizing use of COVID-19 vaccines in late 2020 (4,5), adopted by a way non permanent to stipulate urgent actions in October 2021.† WHO described the ultimate guidelines, targets, and priorities wished to help nation planning of vaccine rollout to scale back excessive sickness and dying. A July 2022 change to the method non permanent§ prioritized vaccination of populations at elevated menace, along with older adults,¶ with the target of 100% safety with an entire COVID-19 vaccination assortment** for at-risk populations. Using on the market public data on COVID-19 mortality (reported deaths and model estimates) for 2020 and 2021 and the latest reported COVID-19 vaccination safety data from WHO, investigators carried out descriptive analyses to take a look at age-specific mortality and world vaccination rollout amongst older adults (as outlined by each nation), stratified by nation World Monetary establishment income standing. Info prime quality and COVID-19 dying reporting frequency various by data provide; nonetheless, people aged ≥60 years accounted for >80% of the overall COVID-19 mortality all through all income groups, with upper- and lower-middle–income worldwide places accounting for 80% of the overall estimated additional mortality. Environment friendly COVID-19 vaccines had been licensed for use in December 2020, with world present scaled up sufficiently to satisfy nation desires by late 2021 (6). COVID-19 vaccines are protected and intensely environment friendly in reducing excessive COVID-19, hospitalizations, and mortality (7,8); nonetheless, country-reported median achieved main assortment safety amongst adults aged ≥60 years solely reached 76% by the highest of 2022, significantly beneath the WHO goal, significantly in middle- and low-income worldwide places. Elevated efforts are wished to increase main assortment and booster dose safety amongst all older adults as actually helpful by WHO and nationwide properly being authorities.

Comparative analysis of COVID-19 deaths and mortality expenses by age group all through 2020–2021 was carried out using three publicly on the market WHO data sources: 1) daily country-specific number of reported situations and deaths (mixture surveillance); 2) weekly country-specific age, intercourse, and properly being care worker standing of disaggregated situations and deaths (detailed reporting)††; and three) WHO-modeled COVID-19 additional mortality estimates§§ (9). On account of the usual of reported data on COVID-19 deaths appeared to fluctuate amongst worldwide places by income group, the country-specific ratio of additional mortality estimates to entire mixture reported deaths was mapped geographically to duplicate the excellence in number of deaths by data provide. On account of the excess mortality model included all worldwide places and accounted for variability in dying reporting, it was used to take a look at mortality value¶¶ and relative menace for people aged ≥60 years, stratified by World Monetary establishment income group (extreme, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low), neutral of potential data prime quality variations. % safety with a achieved COVID-19 vaccination assortment for the overall inhabitants and for older adults had been drawn from reporting worldwide places by way of the WHO digital Joint Reporting Sort COVID-19 module and WHO Regional Office reporting strategies. The definition of older grownup various by nation; subsequently, older grownup vaccination safety was calculated using each nation’s definition and dividing the doses reported administered to those older adults by the United Nation’s Inhabitants Division age-specific inhabitants figures. The 40 worldwide places that did not report vaccination safety for older adults in 2021 and 2022 had been excluded from analysis. WHO data had been accessed by way of the COVID-19 Vaccine Provide Partnership Knowledge Hub.***,††† Info had been analyzed and visualized using R statistical software program program (mannequin 4.1.1; The R Foundation). This train was reviewed by CDC and was carried out in step with related federal laws and CDC protection.§§§

All through January 2020–December 2021, daily mixture surveillance and weekly detailed reporting recorded 5.4 million and a pair of.5 million COVID-19–associated deaths, respectively; the WHO model estimated 14.9 million additional deaths (Desk). COVID-19 mortality expenses elevated markedly in older age groups: people aged ≥60 years accounted for 80% of COVID-19–associated deaths reported by way of weekly detailed surveillance and 82% of estimated deaths from the WHO additional mortality model. Amongst 73% of low-income worldwide places and 31% of lower-middle–income worldwide places (largely inside the WHO African, Jap Mediterranean, and European areas), the estimated additional mortality exceeded the entire reported deaths by way of mixture surveillance by larger than tenfold, whereas this distinction was decrease than twofold in most higher-income worldwide places (Decide 1). Whatever the distinction in reporting completeness by income group, cumulative deaths and mortality had been bigger amongst older age groups in all income groups. Greater- and lower-middle–income worldwide places accounted for 81% of the worldwide additional mortality amongst people aged ≥60 years¶¶¶ (Desk). Lower-middle–income worldwide places accounted for 52% of additional deaths worldwide amongst people aged ≥60 years, with an annual additional mortality value of 1,039 per 100,000 people.

As of December 2022, amongst 194 worldwide places, 154 (79%) had reported every common and older grownup COVID-19 vaccination safety on the very least as quickly as to WHO; ≥78% of countries in all income groups reported safety during the last three months of 2022.**** The median common achieved main assortment COVID-19 vaccination safety was 59%, ranging from a low of 21% (low-income worldwide places) (50% [upper-middle–income] and 51% [lower-middle–income]) to a extreme of 74% (high-income worldwide places). Solely high-income worldwide places’ median safety surpassed the worldwide aim of 70% for the overall inhabitants. Amongst older adults, the median achieved main COVID-19 vaccination assortment safety was 76%, ranging from 33% (low-income worldwide places) to 90% (high-income worldwide places). Median safety amongst older adults in lower-middle– and upper-middle–income worldwide places was 73% and 70%, respectively. Reported safety amongst every the overall inhabitants and amongst older adults various amongst worldwide places inside and amongst utterly totally different income groups (Decide 2). Safety amongst older adults was the similar or lower than that inside the common inhabitants in 36 (23%) worldwide places, along with 4 high-income, eight upper-middle–income, 14 lower-middle–income, eight low-income, and two nonclassified worldwide places.††††


The affect of COVID-19 during the last 3 years has been substantial, and COVID-19 mortality is a crucial remaining outcome indicator for monitoring the pandemic. These COVID-19 deaths and additional mortality estimates exhibiting that people aged ≥60 years accounted for larger than 80% of entire COVID-19 deaths even when controlling for income ranges are in step with the preliminary SARS-CoV-2–related mortality patterns described in China and subsequently by totally different worldwide places (13). The large disparity seen between reported deaths and estimated additional mortality, significantly in upper-middle–, lower-middle–, and low-income worldwide places, makes ascertaining true COVID-19–associated mortality troublesome. Given the bias in reported numbers of age-disaggregated COVID-19 deaths by income group, additional mortality estimates based on modeling may current a additional appropriate measure of the affect of the pandemic.§§§§ The modeled estimates accounted for restricted testing and country-specific reporting of causes of dying, considerably as many low- and middle-income worldwide places had been acknowledged to have confronted bigger numbers of COVID-19–associated deaths as a consequence of insufficient properly being care functionality. Based mostly totally on the modeled estimates, people aged ≥60 years in lower-middle–income worldwide places accounted for a few half of the worldwide estimated COVID-19 mortality and expert one of the best mortality value.

COVID-19 vaccines, which have acquired WHO Emergency Use Itemizing,¶¶¶¶ had been launched in December 2020, <1 12 months after the first COVID-19 situations had been reported. These vaccines have been found to be protected and intensely environment friendly in reducing excessive COVID-19, hospitalizations, and mortality; nonetheless, no matter on the market proof on effectiveness (7,8), reported COVID-19 vaccination safety amongst older adults has not however come close to the WHO goal of 100% in a lot of components of the world. Roughly one quarter of countries reported lower safety amongst older adults in distinction with that inside the common inhabitants; lots of these worldwide places are inside the upper- and lower-middle–income groups, with one of the best mortality estimated by the excess mortality model. Further, as a consequence of limitations in entry to vaccines in a lot of low- and middle-income worldwide places and restricted functionality to rapidly roll out COVID-19 vaccines, middle- and low-income worldwide places are taking longer to realize the actually helpful targets for main assortment and booster dose safety as actually helpful by WHO and nationwide properly being authorities.***** As a result of the fourth 12 months of the pandemic begins, vaccine booster doses have been confirmed to revive or enhance security in opposition to an an infection, symptomatic sickness, and excessive sickness, previous that originally afforded by the primary assortment (10). That’s considerably very important because of most worldwide places have ended most mandated public properly being and behavioral measures to mitigate the unfold of SARS-CoV-2.

The findings on this report are matter to on the very least two limitations. First, age-disaggregated mortality and vaccination data had been self-reported by worldwide places with utterly totally different reporting frequencies, restricted data verification processes, and ranging functionality for reporting up-to-date data. Due to this, reported vaccination safety expenses included inside the analysis is more likely to be lower than the worldwide places’ revealed figures as a consequence of nonreporting to WHO. Second, the WHO-modeled additional mortality data included all worldwide places and age groups on the market for 2020 and 2021, nonetheless not however for 2022. Thus, direct affiliation between COVID-19 mortality and vaccination safety amongst older adults was not examined on this analysis. Future analyses might presumably be carried out with additional frequent research and additional availability of detailed data, along with vaccination standing for reported deaths.

With every properly timed and reliable data wanted for proper monitoring of worldwide targets, worldwide places need to have the power to strengthen COVID-19 surveillance and vaccination reporting strategies to produce larger and additional detailed data to data public insurance coverage insurance policies. The gathering of appropriate disaggregated data by age, and by vaccination dose (i.e., main assortment and booster doses), shall be important to monitoring progress achieve safety targets amongst older adults at highest menace for COVID-19–associated dying. On account of vaccination expenses amongst older grownup populations keep beneath the actually helpful world vaccination aim of 100%, efforts are wished to understand and sort out the reasons that concentrate on populations shouldn’t reached by current vaccination packages, whereas integrating COVID-19 vaccination into main care strategies to facilitate completion of a serious COVID-19 vaccination assortment and receipt of booster doses actually helpful by WHO and nationwide properly being authorities for all older adults.


World Properly being Group (WHO) Regional Office colleagues accountable for COVID-19 vaccination data assortment, collation, and analysis; Alex Karari, Rafael Panlilio, COVID-19 Vaccine Provide Partnership; WHO Regional and Nation Workplaces employees members; Sean Browning, CDC COVID-19 Worldwide Course of Stress Situational Analysis and Visualization Employees; Jim Alexander, Kathryn Banke, Eugene Lam, Robert Linkins, World Immunization Division, Center for World Properly being, CDC.

1Global Immunization Division, Center for World Properly being, CDC; 2Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, World Properly being Group, Geneva, Switzerland; 3Health Emergencies Programme, World Properly being Group, Geneva, Switzerland; 4Office of the Director, Center for World Properly being, CDC; 5Division of World Properly being Security, Center for World Properly being, CDC.


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  • TABLE. Reported and estimated additional COVID-19–associated deaths, by age group and COVID-19–associated deaths for people aged ≥ 60 years by World Monetary establishment income groups — worldwide, 2020–2021

    Info provide (no. of countries)

    Day-after-day mixture surveillance (194)
    Weekly detailed surveillance (147)*
    Additional mortality model (194)

    Cumulative no. of deaths
    Mortality value†
    Cumulative no. of deaths (% of entire)
    Mortality value†
    Cumulative estimated deaths (% of entire)
    Estimated additional mortality value§

    Age group, yrs

    No age disaggregated data
    114,179 (5)
    5,393 (<1)

    123,713 (5)
    658,114 (4)

    265,046 (11)
    1,988,989 (13)

    478,599 (19)
    4,097,508 (27)

    614,762 (25)
    4,145,706 (28)

    889,647 (36)
    4,014,500 (27)

    Complete for all ages

    People aged ≥60 years

    World Monetary establishment income group¶
    (no. of countries)

    Extreme (58)
    No age disaggregated data
    1,077,394 (54)
    1,815,098 (15)

    Greater-middle (55)
    757,692 (38)
    3,581,994 (29)

    Lower-middle (45)
    145,689 (7)
    6,340,756 (52)

    Low (34)
    859 (<1)
    519,895 (4)

    Complete for people aged ≥60 years

    * Solely 147 worldwide places submitted an in depth weekly report on the very least as quickly as all through the 2-year interval. Widespread reporting frequency by income groups was 86% for high-income, 66% for upper-middle–income, 38% for lower-middle–income, and 28% for low-income worldwide places, out of 104 entire anticipated weekly research.
    † Deaths per 100,000 people per 12 months.
    § Additional deaths per 100,000 people per 12 months.
    ¶ Two worldwide places wouldn’t have World Monetary establishment income standing (Niue and Put together dinner Islands).

    FIGURE 1. Ratio of additional COVID-19 mortality estimates to mixture number of reported deaths* — World Properly being Group, worldwide, 2020–2021

    The figure is a map showing the ratio of excess COVID-19 mortality estimates in relation to number of reported deaths worldwide.

    * The ratio of estimated additional mortality to mixture reported deaths acknowledged the proportion of deaths that had been most likely underreported by worldwide places as a consequence of restricted testing or nonreporting of causes of dying. Model-estimated additional mortality was used inside the comparability because of it represents a additional aim and comparable measure for COVID-19 mortality. Bigger ratios characterize greater disparities between reported and estimated deaths.

    FIGURE 2. Achieved COVID-19 main vaccination assortment safety* reported by worldwide places† amongst common inhabitants and amongst older adults, by World Monetary establishment income group — World Properly being Group, worldwide, December 30, 2022

    The figure is a chart showing the completed COVID-19 primary vaccination series coverage reported by countries among overall population and among older adults.

    * Decide reveals safety amongst older adults was the similar or lower than that inside the common inhabitants in 36 (23%) worldwide places, along with 4 high-income, eight upper-middle–income, 14 lower-middle–income, eight low-income, and two nonclassified worldwide places.

    † The proportions of countries that reported vaccination safety for older adults on the very least as quickly as all through the 2-year interval is 83% (48) for the high-income group, 69% (38) for the upper-middle–income group, 96% (43) for the lower-middle–income group, and 68% (23) for the low-income group.

    Instructed citation for this textual content: Wong MK, Brooks DJ, Ikejezie J, et al. COVID-19 Mortality and Progress In direction of Vaccinating Older Adults — World Properly being Group, Worldwide, 2020–2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2023;72:113–118. DOI:

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