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Senior calls. A big new impetus for vaccinating old and new Americans

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Clarksdale, Miss. (AP) – The first obstacle was getting on the bus. Seventy-four-year-old Linda Busby fluttered near the community center, where elderly people climbed up to get coronavirus vaccines.

“I’m scared, I’m not afraid to say that,” he said Wednesday after encouraging a staff member, his brother’s shot onson և John onson vaccine. “I thought I would not get it at first. “Nobody likes to get shot.”

Busby’s hesitation is exactly what the Biden administration’s allies in the states are fighting against, one person at a time, as the White House is stepping up vaccinations for seniors to get vaccinated. Vaccination levels in this predominant group are reaching the plateau, even as supply increases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 76 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine since it was approved in December. But among those most vulnerable to the virus, the rate of new vaccinations has slowed sharply.

It’s a growing source of concern not only for the potential for preventive deaths or serious illness in the coming months, but also for what it could mean for the wider American population.

“I want to reach out directly to our seniors, to those who care for them,” President Biden said on Tuesday, citing “incredible progress” but saying it was not enough.

More about the COVID-19 epidemic

“It’s clear. Elderly people, it’s time for you to get vaccinated. Get vaccinated now. ”

The government estimates that some 12.9 million American seniors have yet to receive their first shot. Although they were the first age group to prioritize shooting, more than 23% of those over the age of 75 have not yet been vaccinated.

Supply restrictions initially slowed vaccination rates for the elderly, but not for months for high-priority age group members. Instead, according to officials, the slowdown is due to a mixture of problems. From people who have difficulty finding և getting to vaccination sites before getting vaccinated.

“Closing the gap will require taking into account all the barriers of the elderly, be they technological, transport or personal hesitations,” said Sandy Markwood, executive director of the National Association of National Aging Agencies.

It is a possible signal of the challenges facing other demographic groups. All adult Americans will be eligible for the vaccine within the next two weeks, although the process of getting enough staff to return to “normal” will take months. Many states, even when they open the door to compliance, still maintain priority vaccination systems or special distribution channels to keep vaccine-seeking seniors at the forefront.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, predicts that 75% to 85% of the population may need to be vaccinated to achieve “herd immunity” to end the outbreak in the United States.

That’s why the White House և states have moved to support seniors և campaign programs.

Markwood credited the administration with a $ 1.9 trillion bailout program to provide the funding needed to “get out there, more intensively, sometimes with individual action,” with the elderly. “It will take away that extra information and time.”

There is even more help along the way.

Starting next week, the administration will make a $ 100 million effort to fund community organizations that provide “high-intensity” support to at-risk elderly, people with disabilities through the Department of Health and Human Services. This includes making appointments, going to vaccination sites, and other support through the vaccination process.

Similar programs are already being implemented at the state level.

In Clarksdale, Mississippi, on Wednesday, the state hosted its first mobile home-based immunizations for adults. The bus was right there near the Busby Elderly Care Center, located next to a low-income apartment complex.

When Busby stepped back, one of the crew members encouraged him to join the group waiting to board the boat. He later said that the main reason for the shooting was the support of his brother, who called him to get vaccinated.

“I’m going to call him as soon as I get home and let him know I did,” he said as he got back on the bus to return to the community center.

Older people are actually less lazy than most. According to a survey conducted by AP-NORC in late March, 11% of Americans age 65 and older say they are unlikely or unlikely to be vaccinated. That compares to 25% of all adults.

The White House has repeatedly cited family members and community leaders as the best validators to overcome hesitation. It moves on to creating more vaccine sites near homes, realizing that access issues are for demographic groups. The White House announced Wednesday that all more than 1,400 federally qualified community health centers will be able to start injecting vaccines. It also aims to expand mobile vaccine clinics.

A disproportionate number of unvaccinated seniors are from SG or Latin American communities or people without health care. And about 6% of seniors are at home.

“They are the most difficult to reach people, they are the ones we have to work the least to reach, either to bring them to vaccination centers or to deliver the vaccines to them,” he said.

Alaron E. Ons-Taylor, CEO of Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services Center, Inc. in Clarksdale, says family members are one of the main means of vaccinating older adults, but there are occasional obstacles. Some encourage their relatives by helping them travel to clinics, making sure they get their shots.

But in many cases, the younger members of the family are misinformed about the vaccine, discouraging elderly relatives from receiving it. In addition, older adults can be more difficult because they are not smart on social media and live alone.

“They’re stuck in the house, they’re scared,” said ones ounce-taylor. “We have to overcome fear.”

According to the CDC, older people, depending on their age, are 1,300 to 8700 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than 5-17 year olds, who account for 80% of the 559,000 deaths in the United States. virus.

Miss Ons-Taylor says that in Mississippi, especially among the elderly, giving a lot of help is encouraging priests and church communities.

“It’s the most important thing,” he said. “That’s who they’re listening to.”

Julia Ford, 71, spends many days in Rev. At the SLA Jones Business Center. He said his faith was the main motivator for getting the vaccine.

“I was not sure what to do. ‘Will I get it or not?’ I talked to the Lord to find out, ”said Ford, whose brother died of the virus. “I thought about the passage, ‘Everything that was done was prepared by him.’ Nothing was done that he did not prepare. He made the virus, he made the antidote. ”

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Miller reported from Washington.

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