COVID-19 killed younger adults in September

Published November 4, 2021


COVID-19 killed younger adults in September

We often hear that COVID-19 only affects older people or people with medical issues. But this is simply not true. 

COVID-19 was the number one cause of death for U.S. residents ages 35 to 54 in September. 

"It's sobering to think about the number of deaths during the pandemic," says infectious diseases expert James Lawler, MD, MPH. "A lot of people have the misconception that COVID-19 only affects the very old, but that's a mistake."

In September, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in:

  • 1,899 U.S. deaths each day
  • No. 1 cause of death for ages 35 to 54
  • Second leading cause of death among all ages

"Sadly, the vast majority of these deaths are preventable," says Dr. Lawler. An estimated 49,000 vaccine-preventable deaths happened in September alone.

Vaccines are still the best tool we have to prevent COVID-19 hospitalizations and death. Get vaccinated.

How COVID-19 ranked as a cause of death for each age group in 2021


Why do we care whether you get vaccinated?

A lot of health care is individualized. When you eat healthier foods, your body feels better. When you get enough sleep, you reduce stress and improve your brain functioning. Some decisions you make only affect your own health. 

But infectious diseases are not individual-based, they’re community-based. One person can have an outsized impact on the people they live, learn, shop and work with. When we choose to not wear a mask or not get vaccinated, it directly affects people around us. 

This is why we care if you get vaccinated. Not only does it affect your own health, but it also affects your community’s health, too. In August, people who were fully vaccinated were six times less likely to test positive for COVID-19, compared to unvaccinated people.