Information about COVID-19 related topics continues to change rapidly as researchers discover, test, and improve what we know about the virus and how we prevent and treat it. This page is created specifically to support an assignment in HPE 295, but we also have a guide specifically created to provide current and credible resources for those interested in COVID-19.
Below are the sources the librarians suggest for the data you will need to answer the questions posed by your assignment. Not all the requested data is being collected reliably, particularly now that many people test at home and results are not reported, so you may need to do some calculations, make inferences, or note where you are unable to locate the information. You may also find additional sources with conflicting information. This article from epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina may be helpful as you "attempt to...think about the quantitative, average risk of COVID-19 from multiple perspectives."
Please also contact your instructor or a librarian if you have additional questions.
For YOUR age group, what % of the US population-- both vaccinated and unvaccinated --- has been infected with the COVID virus?
The CDC provides data about case rates by age and vaccination status from agencies that report it. This is not a cumulative number but a weekly measure of positive tests.
The CDC, using infection-induced antibody seroprevalence studies, estimates that as of May 2022 about 58.7% of the US population has had COVID-19. The rate in Oregon is estimated to be about 44%. The percentage falls for each progressively older age group with closer to 22% of the 65+ population in Oregon estimated to show infection-induced antibodies. The CDC also cautions that the presence of these antibodies should not be conflated with immunity.
What percent had co-morbidities?
The CDC continues to update their list of medical conditions that increase a person's risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19. They also provide county-by-county estimates for the percentage of the population diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, diagnosed diabetes, and obesity.
For YOUR age group, what are the risks associated with getting injected with the COVID vaccination? Statistically, what are the possible side effects for those who receive the vaccination?
According to the CDC "serious safety problems" linked to one or more versions of the vaccine "are rare."
Reactions and adverse events identified in the clinical trials are posted for each approved vaccine:
Some people cite VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, when discussing risks associated with the Covid vaccine, but since this database allows anyone to report anything that they experience following a vaccine without determining whether it was caused by the vaccine, it is not useful as a source to cite vetted potential risks and/or side effects. According to VAERS:
VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning it relies on individuals to send in reports of their experiences to CDC and FDA. VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused a health problem, but is especially useful for detecting unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse event reporting that might indicate a possible safety problem with a vaccine. This way, VAERS can provide CDC and FDA with valuable information that additional work and evaluation is necessary to further assess a possible safety concern.
VAERS data has helped researchers identify "Adverse Events of Interest" including anaphylaxis, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), myocarditis and pericarditis, and Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
For YOUR age group, what are the risks for remaining unvaccinated?
Higher risk of contracting COVID-19 (toggle for cases), hospitalization, and death (toggle for death). There also may be an increased risk of developing "long covid".
For YOUR age group, what happened to those who were unvaccinated and contracted COVID?
Rates of Laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations by Vaccination Status. The first chart is for the age group 18 years or younger. The second chart has a drop-down menu for the remaining age groups. Refer to the line on the chart indicating “rate in unvaccinated persons.”
What percent of those who were unvaccinated and contracted COVID died in your age group?
Rates of COVID-19 Deaths by Vaccination Status.
What percent of those who were unvaccinated and contracted COVID had mild symptoms in your age group?
People who experience mild symptoms from COVID-19--defined as an infection that does not include "shortness of breath, dyspnea, or abnormal chest imaging"--will likely not be documented in official case counts so determining an accurate percentage would be difficult. Data from the early (pre-vaccine) days of Covid indicated that 81% (source) - 86% (source) of infected people did not require hospitalization. The variant of the virus also may be associated with higher or lower disease severity.
For your age group, what happened to those who were vaccinated but still contracted COVID?
Rates of Covid-19 Cases and Deaths by Vaccination Status.
Rates of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status.
The EBSCO databases search a wide variety of publications for varying audiences. The ones listed below are most likely to include the additional studies you are required to cite. Look closely at the source and the timeliness of the materials you select, and ask a librarian for help if you are struggling to find what you need. There are also EBSCO tutorials available.