Thursday, February 11, 2021 3:41 PM
NEW YORK—Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, older adults have been at greater risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. As a result, there has been a significant effort made to rollout vaccines to this segment of the population.
According to the CDC, adults ages 65 and older—including residents of long-term care facilities who are primarily in this age group—account for 29 percent of all people who were administered a COVID-19 vaccine dose in the first month of vaccination, disproportionate to their share of the overall population (15 percent), according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis
As of Feb. 1, more than half of all states (29 states and the District of Columbia) have expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to include people 65 and older. To date, nearly 32 million people, or about 10 percent of the US population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In its analysis covering the early stages of the vaccine rollout, Kaiser found that in the states that report COVID-19 vaccinations by age cohort, the majority of older adults have not yet received at least one dose of the vaccine. “The share of adults 65 and older who have received at least one dose of the vaccine ranges from 34 percent in West Virginia to 10 percent in Pennsylvania,” Kaiser said, noting though that the relatively low rate in Pennsylvania may be partly explained by data not included from Philadelphia county.
Nine states—West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Delaware, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, plus the District of Columbia—report vaccinating at least 20 percent of their 65 and older population. Each of the states reporting vaccination rates among the 65 and older population has expanded eligibility to this age group.
Among the three states—Florida, Georgia, and Texas—that placed people ages 65 and older in the initial prioritization group (that is, before the federal government advised including them), two (Florida and Texas) are reporting vaccination rates by age, and Florida has the highest vaccination rate among older adults (29 percent) as of Feb. 4.