LeadingAge Comment on Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Interim Recommendation on Vaccination Allocation Prioritization

PRESS RELEASE | December 01, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

“Older Americans who’ve suffered most need to be first in line for life-saving vaccines”

Contact: Lisa Sanders
lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

December 1, 2020 Washington, DC—Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, on today’s interim recommendations on vaccination prioritization from ACIP:

“The committee’s recommendation recognizes the simple truth that older Americans who’ve suffered most need to be first in line for life-saving vaccines, along with the people who care for them and other critical health care workers.

The lack of prioritization for older Americans during the pandemic has cost too many lives, and we can’t let it happen again. Today’s recommendation is an important step in the right direction -- if it’s acted on. Now states must follow suit by ensuring that long-term care residents and staff are among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

When the vaccines are available, federal and state policy makers must work closely with distributors to get them swiftly and safely to older adults who have suffered 4 out every 5 deaths from the pandemic.

This is COVID’s darkest hour. But if everyone does their part, we can start properly protecting older Americans who have died in record numbers for almost a year. Congress needs to pass a real relief package now to provide aging services providers with the testing, PPE, and staffing support they need to protect older adults. Communities must reduce the possibility of the virus’ spread by promoting common-sense social distance, mask use and handwashing practices.”

About LeadingAge:We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: www.leadingage.org.