As the first phases of COVID-19 vaccine distribution rolled out in New York State, people over the age of 65 began receiving their vaccinations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors 65 years and older are at a higher risk for severe illness, which is among the reasons they received their COVID-19 vaccinations before some other groups.
“Risk for severe illness with COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk,” explained Dr. Jane Salamone, Executive Medical Director of Rochester Regional Health’s Primary Care Institute. “People in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s, and so on. Helping our most at-risk population get vaccinated will go a long way towards preventing the spread of the virus.”
At the start of vaccine distribution, the federal government only allowed 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be released each week in New York, so the number of people who were eligible to receive the vaccine will remained limited until more doses are available. Eligible patients like those with chronic conditions, began receiving calls to schedule an appointment at one of our vaccination clinics.
"You can help your loved ones stay protected from the coronavirus by explaining to them the benefits of getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Salamone. "While waiting for the vaccine, and even after receiving the vaccine, everyone should continue to wear their mask, stay at least six feet apart from others outside their household, avoid indoor gatherings, and practice hand hygiene."
In clinical trials of more than 40,000 participants, the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective against COVID-19. In clinical trials of more than 30,000 participants, the Moderna vaccine was 94% effective against COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 vaccines are comparatively highly effective in preventing infection when you look at the other vaccines we regularly get or provide our children,” explains Dr. Maryrose Laguio-Vila, an infectious disease expert at Rochester Regional Health.
To get more information on the distribution of vaccines in the United States, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
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