Should coronavirus vaccines go to older adults first to achieve herd immunity?

I believe the current rollout of the coronavirus vaccination program is not focused correctly. The CDC plan states, “Immunization with a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a critical component of the United States strategy to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths and to help restore societal functioning.” (

Safe & Effective The current COVID-19 vaccines are considered safe and effective according to both the CDC and the FDA. Testing, albeit significantly shortened, and issued with an emergency use authorization, shows the vaccines to meet the requirements for distribution to the public.

Reduction of COVID-19-related Illnesses The vaccination program is in early distribution. There is no indication that the vaccine affects current new cases of COVID-19 nor on deaths. Should this be expected for a new vaccine? Maybe? I contend that the vaccines are being given to the wrong groups of people to achieve herd immunity.

Daily new cases of COVID-19 are dropping in late January; however, daily deaths are falling marginally. Yes, deaths have a two-week lag time from recent cases. The trend should continue to fall as new cases continue to drop. (

Hospitalizations COVID-19 hospitalizations are dropping rapidly. Current hospitalizations are equivalent to post-Thanksgiving. However, the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations doubled from the beginning of November to the end of November.

The upward hospitalization trend continued through the first week of January with an increase of over 30%. The trend since the first week of January is falling faster than the rise in November and December.

Vaccine Priorities The CDC recommended the COVID-19 vaccine be offered to people over the age of 75 first, then to people between the age of 65 and 74 with high-risk medical conditions.

This is where I have a problem with the distribution plans and the whole program’s overall effectiveness. The goal is to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. Slow down the new cases, and hospitalizations and death rates fall also.

Why offer the vaccine to a person over 75 years of age and people with high-risk medical conditions? I will be 75 years of age shortly. I have no high-risk medical condition. Yet, I am eligible now for the vaccine. I have not obtained one and have no intention of getting vaccinated until late summer.

Why? Americans must achieve herd immunity to stop the transmission of the coronavirus. Slowing or stopping the virus’s transmission slows or prevents new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Why are older people and ‘at risk’ having a priority?

The vaccines should be going to those in the general population who are always in contact with the multitudes. That is where the transmission of the disease is happening. More older adults die from the virus than younger people, but older people are not in the workforce. Most, if not all of them, are protected at home or in care facilities. They are not spreading the disease. Younger people are spreading the disease.

The government is concentrating the vaccine resources to cover people who are not likely to spread the disease. Does this make sense? Yes, if you want to protect the most vulnerable first. But does this group of people need to be vaccinated to provide more protection?

Control the disease’s transmission by vaccinating those who are spreading it, and all the COVID-19-related numbers will fall, maybe even faster than they are now. I understand that we need to protect the elderly. I have no problem with that. Must that protection include vaccines? I think not. It is my opinion.


We do not know how long the vaccines will be effective. We know they are effective for at least four to six months. Will COVID-19 become a seasonal virus? I hope not. We cannot control the seasonal influenza virus deaths now.

Herd immunity must be achieved to stop the spread of the virus. The current distribution priorities will delay herd immunity in the United States.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


One Response

  1. Wise words Red, and applicable to the UK vaccination programme too. Focusing on the active work force, who are most likely to be disbursing the virus, would appear to be much more proactive and far more beneficial over the longer term. I’m still surprised/amazed/disappointed/shocked by the prevalence of Covid in care homes, when there is such an opportunity to control people’s movements at those locations.

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