Elderly Patients Struggling for Support Amid Uneven Vaccine Rollout

Elderly Patients Struggling for Support Amid Uneven Vaccine Rollout

(HorizonPost.com) – As the United States enters the first week of March 2021, after nearly a year of shutdowns, deaths, hospitalizations, and quarantines, three coronavirus vaccines are approved for use in the country; Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Merck. It’s an amazing feat that we have vaccines and millions of doses. However, given the demand for the product, there are still shortages. State and federal governments came up with distribution plans for the limited supplies, putting some of the most vulnerable, our elderly, near the top of the list.

Too Many Cooks

According to an article published by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), The CDC and President Joe Biden’s administration both recommend that priority be given to those age 65 and older as vaccines become available because they account for 80% of COVID-19 deaths. The same AARP article says that almost 40% of all COVID deaths in the US have occurred in nursing homes and similar long-term care facilities.

In reality, despite recommendations, many jurisdictions are setting their own methodology to decide how the vaccines will be distributed. Some states are allowing the decisions to be carried out at the county level. This means that the country’s seniors must call multiple places to find a continually shrinking number of appointment times when they might get the immunization.

Other Issues

Last week, vaccine shortages caused Sonoma County, CA to cancel the next scheduled round of first COVID-19 shots for eligible patients. The county reported plans to prioritize people who needed their second doses to boost virus immunity. In Oregon, a federal judge issued an order that moved prison inmates ahead of seniors.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), there is at least one place where wealth seems to have its privileges — Los Angeles. The article claims to tell the story of the Latino Vernon Central neighborhood versus Bel Air (where median incomes are approximately five times higher):

Infection rate: Vernon Central 1-in-5 / Bel Air 1-in-24

Vaccination rate: Vernon Central 1-in-27 / Bel Air 1-in-4

In a case that legitimately calls for federal government oversight, Democrats in office decided to punt the ball and let the counties and states handle the details. If one were to grade them on the performance of their duty to protect the most vulnerable parts of our society, it certainly seems that an “F” would be appropriate in some areas.

Copyright 2021, HorizonPost.com