Vaccines are in short supply throughout the Bay Area. As a result, officials across eight jurisdictions are making a push to prioritize vaccinating residents aged 65 and over.
The plan won’t interfere with the initial rollout to healthcare workers per Phase 1A; on the contrary, those recipients have in many cases been moving on to their second shots.
The reasoning behind the 65-and-above prioritization hinges on mortality. Regionwide, most deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in the senior population. In Santa Clara County, 81% of those who’ve died have been 65 or older.
In a statement, Public Health Officer for Marin County (where patients 75 and over are being prioritized for vaccination) Dr. Matt Willis put it this way: “A vaccine offered to a resident above age 75 is 300 times more likely to save a life than a vaccine offered to someone under the age of 50.”
Regardless of who’s getting vaccinated first, supply is still falling far short of demand throughout The Bay. Even the senior population cannot be thoroughly covered as of now, despite officials wanting them to be first in line. Ensuring vaccination for all older adults is expected to take weeks, to say nothing of teachers, farmers, and emergency workers.
In the meantime, the public should well know the non-vaccination self-protection drill: wear masks, wash hands, socially distance, avoid crowds, avoid travel, and try to stay home.