PHOENIX — Arizona’s oldest residents are going to be moved up on the list of who gets the first covid-19 immunizations.

The move by Gov. Doug Ducey and the Department of Health Services comes a week after the an advisory panel of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those 75 and older should be moved into the second tier of those getting the vaccine. That puts them behind only health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

Ducey, in a prepared statement, said the move is justified.

“One of Arizona’s top priorities since the start of the pandemic has been to protect our most vulnerable,’’ he said.

That assessment as back by CDC data.

As of Dec. 20, when the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices made the recommendation, the cumulative covid-19-associated hospitalization rate was 1,211 for every 100,000 individuals 75 and older. By contrast, the same figure for those age 65 to 74 was just 642.

Put another way, the CDC says individuals 75 and older make up 8% of the population but have 25% of hospitalizations. They also have the highest death rate of any age group.

And the agency says that, compared with individuals age 35 through 54, those in the 65-74 age group are eight times more likely to die. Take that out to those 75 and older and the risk of death is more than 30 times higher.

The CDC says this is about more than saving lives. The agency figures that reducing the number of elderly people who have to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 “can help ease the burden on strained health care systems.’’

Until now, those 75 and older had been lumped in the third tier, the same category as those in the 65-plus age group.

Moving up this group now gives them the same priority as “essential workers.’’ In Arizona, that includes educators, workers in the food and agriculture industry, police, firefighters, correctional workers and those in the utility industry.

The recommendation from the CDC panel to move the most elderly up on the priority list was not unanimous.

Politico reports that Henry Bernstein, chief of pediatrics at the Hofstra/Northwell Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York was the lone dissenter. He argued that everyone 65 and older has similar risks and all should have been put into the higher priority group.

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(7) comments

simon1dog

Shishka will have to give us an update after he gets his. I wanna know how long is the needle?

BigBob

Oh, scooter, you do realize that this "Shishka" that is just a little voice in your head will never receive a shot. And won't you know how "long" the needles is when you get your shot?

NorthLong

Poor Shishka, never has figured out what sarcasm is.

BigBob

Who is this "Shishka" you fools keep talking about? Odd how two fools have he same little voice in their head.

tomgarven

As someone who is 80 years of age being in group 2 or 3 really doesn't sound very significant to me. Might make a difference of maybe a week or two before the vaccine is available.

So far our family has been lucky and sidestepped Covid-19 by doing what we have been told to do by the CDC and other healthcare professionals. Mask wearing, social distancing and other recommended precautions.

Now if everyone just did that AND took the vaccine when it becomes available we just might be able to reduce the impact of the virus. But if you want government to do something else in addition to these precautions then you should probably be on the phone with your members of Congress. Why, because they are no different than we are. Remember these are the same people who are our neighbors and have NO special skills beyond knowing what to do in Washington. All of the medical advice we receive from government officials comes from the same medical researcher teams, healthcare organization and Doctors we hear on the news. Politicians are no smarter than you are NOR do they have any type of advanced medical knowledge beyond what they are TOLD by the same medical Doctors we listen to. If you haven't realized by now that government is almost NEVER the solution to anything, then I don't know what to say.

The approval rating of Congress as of today is 19.3% according to Real Clear Politics. To me any organization with that type of approval rating is a total failure.

1502

So far distribution is way behind. Communist trump said the virus was a hoax. I bet his family is at the front of the line.

dimlantern101

AZ can move Santa Claus to the top of the list, it will still take the same amount of time for production and distribution.

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