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Older Adults Still At High Risk for COVID-19 — Beware Complacency

Ethnic Media Services: Older Adults Still At High Risk for COVID-19 – Beware Complacency (July 1, 2022)

“You might be done with Covid, but Covid is not done with you.”

So said Denny Chan, directing attorney with Justice in Aging, at a press briefing co-hosted by the California Department of Aging on June 29 to address the high risks older adults still face from COVID-19 and what steps will protect them.

Of those California seniors lost to Covid, 45% were Latino, more than twice their 22% of the population aged 65 to 79. African Americans, 5.5% of that age group, experienced an 8% death rate, Chan said.

Statewide, more than 80% of older adults have been vaccinated, 70% have had one booster, almost 30% have had two. But these statewide figures do not reflect regional differences, Chan cautioned. 

“We can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to getting people vaccinated. This is long-term work for the safety of all the older adults in our state.”

The rate of positive tests for Covid in California stands at 13.2%, probably an undercount, Chan said, but still 1.5 percentage points higher than the week before. And with 3,100 people currently hospitalized, he said, we’re back to the level we were in March, when Omicron spiked.

But there’s good news too. Unlike the early days of vaccine availability, he said, “We have plenty of vaccine,” so the days of rationing are over.

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