Where will seniors be in the R.I. vaccine line?

Where will seniors be in the R.I. vaccine line?

Florida and other states already started the rollout of the COVID vaccine to seniors prior to the end of the year, but not in Rhode Island. An article in the Jan 3 edition of The Providence Journal titled “Who’s next to get COVID vaccine in R.I.” states “after clinics in Central Falls began offering coronavirus vaccine to the general public, the state Health Department is evaluating what other harder hit communities will be targeted next.” While residents of congregate care settings are receiving vaccines, no mention was made in the article of when there would be a rollout to seniors that are not in congregate care settings.

Although there is a need to address community spread in hard hit communities, shouldn’t the priority right now be to save lives. According to R.I. COVID Fatality Data compiled by the R.I. Department of Health, the percentage of COVID deaths for those under the age of 30 is 0 percent and under the age of 60 is 6 percent of all fatalities in R.I. This means that the vast majority of fatalities of those not living in congregate care settings is in the 60+ age group. While an average of 15 Rhode Islanders are dying each day, pushing seniors back in line behind segments of the general public seems to be counterproductive. Hard hit communities can still be addressed by providing vaccinations to their seniors right now (instead of the general public).

R.I. seniors, make your voices heard!

John DiTomasso

Greenville