Date: February 24, 2021
From: Tom McLarney, MD
Subject: Vaccine Rollout and Webinar
Governor Lamont recently announced the plan for further rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Unlike previous plans for essential workers and those with pre-existing medical conditions, the new plan will be based solely on an individual’s age (with the exception of educators in pre-K through 12). On March 1, individuals 55 and older are eligible to begin scheduling appointments.
The governor’s medical team put considerable thought into this approach, and I believe it makes a lot of sense.
The age-based rollout has been successful in some European countries. The CDC rollout, in contrast, has been fraught with uncertainty over who qualifies as an essential worker and who is at high risk.
The new plan may change the date when some individuals were anticipating they would be eligible for a vaccine, but several considerations argue for age-directed rollout:
- The older one is, the worse the likely outcome from COVID-19.
- The elderly have the lion’s share of pre-existing medical issues that increase risk for complications.
- Statistically, young adults—even those with chronic medical conditions—fare very well with COVID-19.
- Determining who is eligible will be much easier. Gov. Lamont noted that if liberal criteria were used to define essential workers, most individuals in the state would be included, producing a vaccine logjam.
- Age-based rollout is fairer, particularly to those individuals who lack health care resources or who are not employed. Community and faith-based organizations will find it easier to encourage vaccination knowing that age is the only criteria.
I invite you to attend our next webinar, scheduled for March 3 at 1 p.m., in which Rick Culliton, Lisa Brommer and I will discuss the state’s new rollout strategy. Webinar details and login information, along with links to past webinar recordings, can be found on the Keep Wes Safe website
Tom McLarney, MD