Statement on the FDA’s Expected Authorization of Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine

PRESS RELEASE | December 18, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

“Even with the arrival of a second vaccine, we cannot let down our guard.”

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

December 18, 2020 Washington DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, on the Food and Drug Administration’s expected authorization of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine:

“Having a second vaccine authorized makes it all the more possible to protect older Americans after ten nightmare months that have cost the lives of more than 200,000 people age 65 and older—over 80% of all COVID deaths.

Early efforts around vaccine distribution to residents of nursing homes is proving to be a complex undertaking. Even with the addition of the Moderna vaccine, we cannot let our guard down. We must take the following actions:

  • Fast, efficient distribution of the vaccine that prioritizes older adults is vital. And it must take into account those who are most impacted: Black and Hispanic older adults have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and care workers are disproportionately from communities of color.
  • Broad efforts must be made to educate residents, clients, families and employees about the benefits of vaccination. Aging services providers are deeply committed to ensuring that older adults and the people who serve them receive the vaccine.

LeadingAge is working with government agencies, pharmacy companies as well as with our state partners and members nationwide to ensure an effective process of vaccine rollout over the next few months.

While the vaccine is not a panacea, it is a ray of hope. Older adults and the people who care for them in all communities need to understand the science and feel comfortable getting the vaccine. Widespread vaccination is necessary to save lives and bring us all closer to the shared goals of keeping older adults and those who care for them safe from the coronavirus threat, and of allowing older adults, friends and families to reconnect in person after months of limited visitation.”

About LeadingAgeWe 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.