Written by: Matthew Griffin
This will help seniors who live in community and require help from others to meet their basic needs to stay safe
This week, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advised that people over 75 be next in line for the COVID vaccine after healthcare workers and long term care residents.
According to Wall Street Journal reporting, this was a difficult decision for the ACIP, who were debating whether essential workers, whose jobs put them at risk of exposure, would be prioritized over seniors, whose age puts them at risk of complications if infected. Several members of the ACIP expressed that this was a complicated decision, but in the end the vote was unanimous, with the exception of one panelist who thought that the priority age cut off should be 65 instead of 75.
This consensus reflects the fact that seniors, especially those over 75, are also at greater risk of exposure to the virus because their need for care often requires them to be in close contact with others. Between living in community, getting help with errands, housekeeping, and cooking and going to doctors appointments and physical therapy, seniors have needs that continue in spite of the pandemic that really aren’t optional. The vaccine will help them to receive necessary care and stay safe.
The ACIP’s decision means that the Griffin Living staff are getting vaccinated with the current group of healthcare workers, and that residents could receive vaccines as early as January. While we are grateful that there is a major step forward in ending the pandemic in sight with two approved vaccines, we are keeping safety measures — distancing, masking, temperature checks, air filtration, surface disinfection — in place in our facilities as the vaccine is rolled out to the wider public.
Matthew Griffin is Senior Vice President, Eastern States Division, at Griffin Living