The states of Florida and Texas have started to distribute coronavirus vaccines to residents over age 65. These decisions go against guidelines set by an advisory group at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommended that healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff members should be first in line, followed by other frontline workers and all people over 75. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, these recommendations are meant to “preserve functioning of society” and “decrease death and serious disease as much as possible.”
The few places in Florida and Texas that started administering vaccinations to people older than 65 quickly exhausted supplies. Similarly, a health care system in Decatur, Texas, began giving shots to residents in the 65-plus age group on a first-come, first-served basis on Wednesday. People lined up more than two hours before the clinic opened and doses ran out by 8:30 am.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report found that 45 states were following the CDC recommendations. Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Wyoming deviated slightly by including law enforcement in their first round of vaccinations. Massachusetts is also including incarcerated people and those in homeless shelters in its first group. The CDC recommendations are not a “requirement” but rather a guide to how to distribute the vaccines. If the state where you live has decided to deviate from the guidelines, there should be some accountability for the decisions. Check it out, and make sure that your elected officials and Health Departments are meeting the needs of their constituents, YOU!
Stay the course, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!