Study finds that COVID-19 is still deadlier than the flu

A new JAMA study found that COVID-19 remains deadlier than the flu, with 35 percent higher mortality in hospitalized patients between October 2023 and March 2024. Although the overall risk of death from COVID-19 has declined over time, it is still “substantially higher” than the risk of death from the flu. 

Recommendation: These findings provide an opportunity to continue reiterating the importance of COVID-19 vaccines and other mitigation methods like masking that protect against the virus, especially if some patients say COVID-19 is “just like the flu.” Messaging may emphasize that COVID-19 infections hospitalize twice as many people as the flu and have a higher risk of severe illness and long-term complications. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations helps reduce these risks. The CDC recommends the updated COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.