Black individuals in the United States had a disproportionately higher rate of hospitalization due COVID-19 in January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in last week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Overall, hospitaliszations increased with the appreance of the Omicron variant: Compared to Delta, the general rate of hospitalizations more than doubled after Omicron became the predominantly active strain in the US, peaking at 38.4 hospitalizations per 100,000 adults, the CDC said.
According to the CDC, non-Hispanic Black adults were hospitalized at a rate 3.8 times higher than that of non-Hispanic white adults.
After vaccines were made available to the public, African American adults were less inclined to get vaccinated than white adults, but that gap narrowed following a string of pro-vaccine campaigns during the Delta strain surge in deaths and hospitalizations, the CDC said.
The reason for higher rates of hospitalization among Black adults with COVID-19 in January may therefore be due to different factors, like comorbidities, or inferior access to health care, CDC said.
“Taken together, these findings suggest that the increased risk for hospitalization among Black adults during the Omicron-predominant period might also be due, in part, to lower proportions of Black adults receiving both the primary vaccination series and booster doses,” the study said.