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Americans have been dying at a significantly higher rate over the past two years or so, but the COVID-19 disease tells only part of the story. Among seniors, the pandemic could explain the increase in mortality more easily than among younger people, where there’s a gap requiring further explanation.
Overall, there appear to be three distinct patterns in the data based on age:
Among those of age 0 to 17, mortality remained virtually unchanged since 2019.
Among those who were 65 or older, mortality increased in 2020, dropped in the first half of 2021, coinciding with the proliferation of the COVID-19 vaccines, and then increased in the third quarter of 2021, coinciding with the emergence of the Delta variant, which appeared more resistant to the vaccines.
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