The number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations is on the rise again in the United States, where the proportion of deaths among the elderly is rising and fewer than half of nursing home residents are up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations.
These alarming signs indicate a tough winter for the elderly, which worries Bartley O’Hara, 81, a nursing home resident who claims to have a “vaccine for eyebrows” and reports hospital trends of the coronavirus. obeys, which they “raise” in the case of older adults, but remain stationary in the case of young ones.
That sense of urgency isn’t universal, says O’Hara, of Washington, DC, but “if you’re 21, you should probably be worrying about your grandma.” we are all in this together”.
A worrying sign for older people: Hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 rose by more than 30% in two weeks. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says most of the increase is due to older people and people who already have health problems. The figures include all people who test positive, regardless of the reason for their admission.
“When it comes to protecting older people, we’re doing it wrong in this country,” said Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute.
As those responsible for nursing homes redouble their efforts to ensure that staff and residents receive the new version of the vaccine, which is now recommended for those older than 6 months, they are grappling with the issue. , face misinformation and fatigue. They ask the White House for help with an “all for one” approach.
Clear messaging is needed about what the vaccine can and cannot do, according to Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingEdge, which represents nonprofit nursing homes.
According to him, the increase in infections does not mean that the vaccine has failed, but it has become difficult to counter this misconception.
“We have to change our messaging to accurately reflect what it does, which is prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths,” Sloan said. “This virus is insidious and it keeps popping up everywhere. We have to be realistic about it.”
Associated Press writer Nikki Forster in New York contributed to this report.