The debate begins with the covid death tallies. But the issues go beyond basic numbers.
On Monday, Connecticut will be the first state to begin vaccinating anyone from age 55 to 64 — instead of people with chronic health issues and essential workers.
Health organizations have begun sending doctors and nurses to apartment buildings and private homes to vaccinate homebound seniors, but the efforts are slow and spotty.
Some assisted living facilities, pharmacy chains and health care providers are luring new customers with covid shots.
State officials recently unveiled a “master plan” to address the needs of California’s rapidly aging population, from housing to long-term care. Kim McCoy Wade, director of the state Department of Aging, vows it will not end up on a shelf gathering dust.
Tens of thousands of middle-aged sons and daughters — too young to qualify for a vaccine — care for older relatives with serious ailments and want to get the shots to protect their loved ones and themselves.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that decision-making about the covid vaccine is complicated and multifaceted, which means persuading people to say yes will be, too.
Arthur and Maggie Kelley of St. Louis died 30 days apart. Maggie died of complications of dementia in November. Arthur, who had moved into her nursing home to be with her, died a month later of covid. Their family held a double funeral.
Glitchy websites, jammed phone lines and long lines outside clinics are commonplace as states expand who’s eligible to be vaccinated. The oldest Americans and those without caregivers and computer skills are at a distinct disadvantage.
Public health officials have singled out seniors as key candidates for the covid-19 vaccines but too many of these seniors are not able to get shots because they don’t use computers, don’t have internet services or transportation, or don’t have someone to help them with the process.