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January 11, 2021
As we usher in a new year with hope for a better future, the pandemic dangers of 2020 remain for the seniors in our community. We must remain vigilant to combat the spread of COVID-19.
According to DHEC’s January 4, 2021 reports, seniors over the age of 60 continue to be at significant elevated risk of COVID complications. While seniors represent only 21% of all COVID cases (nearly 70,000 people), 89% of all COVID deaths were from individuals over the age of 60. COVID deaths among the elderly is 35x’s more likely than those under age 60 (7% v. 0.2% of cases). The situation remains dire for the vulnerable elderly but help is on the way.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations in the current DHEC plans allow vaccinations for seniors in long term care facilities in Phase 1a, those over the age of 75 in phase 1b*, and over age 65 in 1c. (COVID-19 Vaccine | SCDHEC) Vaccinations for the elderly create a direct solution at the population at most risk of adverse health effects and death. However, the vaccination process is not a silver bullet solution.
Seniors need our support. As the vaccination process rolls out, encourage your elderly family, friends, and neighbors to get the vaccination and help coordinate the appointment, if needed. And when your allocated vaccination phase begins, make your own appointment so we can stop the pandemic spread as soon as possible. Continue to slow the spread by wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing from others, and maintaining elevated hygiene practices. If we all stay vigilant and safe, we can ensure that 2021 will be a year to celebrate.
*Update as of 1/11/2021: Governor Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that beginning Wednesday, Jan. 13, any South Carolina resident aged 70 or older, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions, can begin scheduling their appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine.Back to All News & Blog