LETTER: Vaccination process should be better prioritized
Florida’s governor means well by throwing open the Covid vaccine to everybody 65 and over. But in our Emerald Coast retirement haven — especially during snowbird season— isn’t that like almost everybody? “Don’t exaggerate!” Mom used to say.
Nevertheless, a friend in The Villages claims the over-65 group represents 94.3 % of Florida’s population—though that sounds a bit high.
Seriously, by prioritizing and using smaller groups the inoculation process would be faster and easier. Most important, it would save lives.
Now that nursing home residents, health care workers, etc. have been inoculated, those with pre-existing conditions and those over 85 should come next. Follow that group with those over 75 and then those over 65.
Statistics recently put out by one state are eye opening. In Massachusetts during December, the average age for death from Covid was 80. That death rate was said to be 143 per 100,000. The rate of death for the 70 to 80 crowd was 33 per 100,000 and just under 10 per 100,000 for those 60 to 70. It dropped to 1 per 100,000 for those 30 to 50.
The question of qualifying those with pre-existing conditions needs attention, meaning that you can’t simply take people at their own word. But a doctor’s note that meets simple criteria should suffice. A driver’s license as well as a Medicare card would show age.
Setting clear criteria for smaller groups would eliminate the stampedes that have characterized area immunization efforts. Most important, using age-related criteria would save lives.
Don Schroeder, Destin