HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaii leaders said they are making decisions about how to fight the pandemic based on science and data, and epidemiologists said the data shows the power of the vaccine as well as the disproportionate devastation caused by the virus on certain communities.
Fifteen percent of those infected are under 17 years old. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 make up 16% of our population but make up 24% of the total cases, most of all ages.
People between the ages of 30 and 39 account for 19% of known infections, and the trend is decreasing as people get older.
Epidemiologists said if you look at vaccination by age group, there is an illuminating flip-flop in the data.
As of Thursday, the two younger groups, those between 12 and 17 and those 18 to 29 years old, had about 65% of the population using at least one dose. These are the lowest vaccination rates, and they get higher as you get older.
Epidemiologist DeWolfe Miller said this was so clear to health officials that vaccinations prevent infection.
“So what does it tell you? It tells you we did a good job getting the elderly vaccinated, ”he said. “That’s good, but if we want to reduce transmission, we have to vaccinate the younger people.”
Health officials are also observing the time lag between high levels of infection and hospital admissions.
In early March, COVID-19 patients only occupied 25 beds, according to Hawaii Emergency Management. On August 19, they filled 71.
Hospitalization rates also tell officials where to focus their efforts.
People who are white make up 25% of the population, but only 12% of hospital admissions. Twenty percent of those who end up in the hospital are native Hawaiians, which is roughly proportional to their population.
The data then shows a huge disparity between residents of the Pacific Islands, who make up only 4% of the population but 24% of the people in hospitals.
There is another big void for Filipinos, which makes up 22% of the people who end up in the hospital and only 16% of the population.
Most other races are hospitalized at lower rates than their population, according to DOH data.
According to health officials, this data should encourage our executives to make informed decisions about our future.
“Without them, we wouldn’t know how to plan our interventions, we wouldn’t know where things are going,” Miller said. “It’s all to have a solid epidemiological response.”
What does DeWolfe Miller get out of all this data? The state is in a crisis.
He said these trends are likely to make things worse. He encourages people to help themselves and others and to get vaccinated.
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