I write and publish articles daily. I look first in Google for ‘health headlines today’ and see what interests me. I look at over a dozen headlines before selecting a topic. Sometimes, I find nothing that is new and interesting.
When that happens, I pick a topic or two and do another search for current information on Parkinson’s, weight loss, aging, heart health, or other topics. I have written over 1,500 articles over the years and have not missed a day in the past 460 days.
There is a ton of information available to choose from to provide awareness and education to my audience. I came across a headline today that surprised me a bit. Why, because I have been advocating the exact opposite.
https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-03-01/vaccinating-oldest-first-for-covid-saves-the-most-lives-study. Vaccinating Oldest First for COVID Saves the Most Lives. HealthDay News published this article based on demographic research results from the University of California, Berkeley.
The argument made by this study is that vaccinating older adults extends their lifespan; therefore, it saves more lives. I advocate keeping older adults protected, as they have been for the past year with the pandemic lockdown. Vaccinate those in the workforce first. This slows down the infection rate and new cases of COVID-19.
New Cases of COVID-19
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. Over the past two days, almost 50,000 new cases of coronavirus have been reported. Those 50,000 new cases have probably infected another ten or twenty thousand people, especially since most cases are asymptomatic or the symptoms are very mild.
Almost 75% of new cases reported based on over 22 million cases (99%) in the United States have been working-aged people between 18 and 64. Only 14.6 % have occurred in adults over the age of 65. (https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographics)
The death rate is significantly different. Out of the 99% of people who died from or with COVID-19, around 80% have been adults over 65. Yes, older people are at higher risk for many reasons.
Is extending the life of a 75-year-old valuable? Absolutely. I will be 75 in a few short months. Yes, I want to live a much longer (and healthier) life. Am I likely to infect others with the virus? No. I stay inside nearly every day and protect myself accordingly when I leave home.
Can I continue to practice a ‘safe life’ during a pandemic with my self-protection options? Unequivocally! Why cannot others around my age do the same? Most have been restricted from outside movement or having visitors. I agree that confining people to house arrest and not allowing family and friends to visit is an imposition. The same can be said for current restrictions on visitors to hospitals regardless of the patient’s age.
During a pandemic, it is our personal responsibility to take care of ourselves first. Remember the advice from flight attendants about the oxygen line dropping – put it on yourself first before attending to your children.
https://www.pnas.org/content/118/8. The February 25th online publication of the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences used a calculation of multiplying the number of people vaccinated by the life expectancy of those same people. That result would be the potential number of lives saved through vaccination.
They used an example of one million vaccinations saved 1,000 lives since the people vaccinated had a life expectancy of 20 or more years on average and equaled 20,000 years of life saved. That seems a bit hokey to me.
Vaccinate one million people between the ages of 30 and 40, and the result is 45 or more years on the average of additional lifespan compared to people with 20 years of life expectancy. The result is that you save twice as many lives based on the same equation.
Yes, I can feel the emotion attached to saving aging adults, especially those with compromised health issues. However, we are in a pandemic. We need to stop it. Vaccinating those over the age of 65 first does not make sense to me. Vaccinate those most likely to transmit the disease. That slows the infection rate and saves lives.
Maybe I am looking at this all wrong. Still, this demographic study to justify vaccinating older Americans before younger people does not make sense to me when the option of vaccinating everyone but older people makes more sense.
My opinion is an opinion. It is not based on scientific fact or discovery but on what seems to make sense given our current pandemic and the options available to treat the virus.
What happens five years from now when scientists discover that latent health issues develop in people with the mRNA vaccine that was not uncovered in years of testing on people with multiple health issues? mRNA is a new technology. I am not saying it has no value. But it has no history of success in humans with a novel coronavirus.
I hope that we never find an Achilles heel to mRNA vaccines given to millions of older adults or the general population.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com