Even though many older adults live alone or with a spouse, and therefore may have a reduced chance of coming into contact with others who may have coronavirus, older adults are far more vulnerable to life-threatening complications if they do contract COVID-19. “That is why it is of the utmost importance for older adults to get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible,” said Pride PHC Vice-President Andy Cruz. Here are several compelling reasons that support the need for the elderly to get the coronavirus vaccine.
#1 Seniors are an at-risk population
The older someone is, the more likely they are to require intensive care if they contract COVID-19. According to the CDC, compared to adults 18 to 29, adults who are between 50 and 65 years of age are four times more likely to require hospitalization and 30 times more likely to die from the disease. Meantime, 95.3 percent of COVID-19 deaths occurred in people age 50 and older. Comorbidities among older people also play a huge role in increasing that risk of death.
#2 The COVID-19 vaccine is safe for older adults
Clinical studies on those vaccinated over the age of 65 show no serious complications or health issues. Physicians say older adults need to be mindful or the potential of common, mild side effects which are typical with any vaccine. “Much like with the flu vaccine arm, soreness, a headache, and a low-grade fever are possible, but all can be controlled with Tylenol and those side effects typically go away within 24 hours,” said Cruz.
#3 The coronavirus vaccine is effective for older adults
In those COVID-19 vaccination clinical trials, thousands of older adults were studied, and the vaccine effectiveness was just as high in older adults as with younger adults. According to Better Health While Aging, with the Pfizer vaccine trials, 43,000 participants were used, and the vaccine was shown to be 95 percent effective for those over the age of 50. Also, that effectiveness did not decrease in those over the age of 65. The same is believed to be true for the Moderna vaccine which has a similar profile to the Pfizer vaccine.
#4 Older adults are being prioritized
Because older adults have a higher risk of complications with COVID-19, they are being prioritized when it comes to vaccine distribution. “Right now those over the age of 65 in Texas are eligible for the vaccine, as are all adults with chronic medical conditions that would make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus,” said Cruz. According to the JAMA Network many older adults reported that recommendations from their physician would be a very important factor in their decision to get a vaccine. It is important that anyone talk to their doctor if they have concerns about getting the coronavirus vaccine themselves.
#5 The vaccine will help protect those around you
The more people who get the vaccine the better for the rest of society. Once the United States reaches a level of 70 percent who have received the vaccine or who have contracted the virus, we reach herd immunity in this country. “That means the odds of the spread of the virus at the rapid rates we’ve seen over the past few months will start to decrease rapidly,” said Cruz. It is true that you can still carry the virus once you get the vaccine, but you should not exhibit any of the symptoms. If everyone in your social circle is vaccinated, you are all protected from those symptoms that can land you in the hospital, or even simply knock you off your feet.
There is no question a vaccine is the way for most seniors to go. But once again, if you have any concerns talk to your doctor first or give us a call here at Pride PHC.