The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended and the FDA just authorized another Covid booster for adults 65 and over and individuals with weakened immune systems. A recent article in The New York Times cites the following data:
- Adults age 65 and over make up about 16 percent of the U.S. population (about 53 million people)
- About 7 million people have weak immune systems
- Around 250 people daily are still dying from Covid-related causes, the majority of whom are either over 70 years old or have weakened immune systems
- The median age of those hospitalized for Covid is 75
- Only 43 percent of Americans age 65 and over have received a bivalent booster shot to date.
As you carry on with your daily life, you may not think Covid is a problem anymore. My personal experience is that I rarely see anyone wearing a mask in stores. I have taken flights recently and noticed that in airports and on airplanes masking is minimal. You hardly ever see, hear or read a story about Covid nowadays. The old saying, "Out of sight, out of mind" seems to apply.
Still, Boomers, particularly those age 65 and over, are the most vulnerable for Covid infection. Some Boomers have weakened immune systems, which makes Covid even more potentially deadly.
Boomers like to think we are the generation that promoted health-consciousness. After all, we were the folks who started the wave of interest in natural and organic foods and called attention to dangerous food additives. We grew up at a time when vaccines protected us from such serious diseases as polio, measles and mumps. Today, vaccines protect Boomers against shingles, pneumonia and influenza.
Why, then, have more than half of Americans age 65 and over failed to get a Covid booster?
The low percentage of boostered Boomers is a puzzling dilemma for public health officials. While there could be many reasons for this, the implication is clear: Boomers who are unprotected by a Covid vaccine could risk serious illness or death if they contract Covid.
Photo by cottonbro studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-covid-sign-3951600/