New Data Reveals COVID-19 Has Killed One in 100 Americans 65+
Arlington, VA – December 13, 2021 – ADvancing States, USAging, Meals on Wheels America, the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) issued the following statement regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters amid new and existing variants, the holiday season and data revealing one in every 100 older adults has died from the virus:
On behalf of our organizations, we encourage all eligible individuals to obtain COVID-19 boosters and for those not yet vaccinated, to do so as soon as possible. This is the best way to add protection while spending time with family and friends and as travel increases over the holidays.
Our organizations collectively represent the state agencies, Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), tribal aging programs, local senior nutrition programs, senior centers and other aging services providers serving millions of older adults each year. This national network has been on the front lines since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, responding to significant increases for home-delivered meals, in-home services, caregiver assistance and other home- and community-based services needed to support older Americans and caregivers. Our decades of experience supporting older adults, particularly those with the greatest social and economic needs who have been hit hardest during the COVID-19 crisis and face barriers accessing vaccinations and boosters, has perhaps never been as critical.
Aging services providers at all levels – state, regional and local – continue to deliver vaccine outreach, support and facilitation and serve as trusted and valued messengers throughout their communities. These activities to facilitate vaccination and boosters include deploying the reliable Information and Referral systems to engage with older adults and caregivers about availability, processes for scheduling and eligibility; and providing wrap-around services – such as case management and transportation to appointments – that ensure vaccinations and boosters are secured for high-risk and hard-to-reach older populations.
Again, we encourage eligible older adults to receive the available vaccinations and boosters and urge continued federal, state and local support for the aging services network to help ensure equitable access. For older adults or caregivers looking for assistance in finding vaccine locations, making appointments and more, please call the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.acl.gov to get connected to the local resources near you.