More older people are dying in the United States than ever before, and less than half of nursing home residents are up to date on their COVID-19 immunizations.
These factors have led to an increase in hospital admissions attributable to coronaviruses.
These concerning indicators point to a challenging winter for seniors, which worries Bartley O’Hara, an 81-year-old nursing home resident.
O’Hara said he is “vaccinated up to the eyeballs” and monitors coronavirus hospital trends as they “zoom up” for older adults but stay flat for younger people.
Although O’Hara of Washington, D.C., noted that “the sense of urgency is not uniform,” he added, “if you’re 21, you probably should care about your grandmother. We are all partners in this.
Hospitalizations for those with COVID-19 increased by more than 30% in just two weeks, which is a worrying sign for elders.
According to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a large portion of the increase is caused by older people and people who already have health issues.
No matter why they were admitted, all those who test positive are included in the statistics.
According to Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, “we’re doing a terrible job of that in this society” when protecting senior citizens.
Nursing home administrators must work harder than ever to get staff and residents immunized with the updated vaccine, which is now advised for those 6 months of age and older. They must also contend with complacency, false information, and COVID-19 fatigue.
They are requesting assistance from the White House.
The vaccination needs to be promoted with clear signals about what it can and cannot do, according to Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingAge, an organization that represents nonprofit nursing facilities.
She said that breakthrough infections do not indicate that the vaccine has failed, but it has been challenging to combat this mistaken notion.
To accurately convey what it accomplishes, which is to avoid serious illness, hospitalization, and death, Sloan said, “We need to adjust our messaging.” “This virus is sneaky and keeps surfacing everywhere. Simply put, we must be honest about that.
Five significant medical associations held a web-based instructional session for doctors called “Vax & Pax: How to Keep Your Patients Safe” due to unjustified hesitation to give the antiviral medication Paxlovid to the elderly swiftly.