EDITORIAL: New York takes next big step on vaccinations

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New York is taking a big step forward in the fight against coronavirus deaths by opening up vaccinations to residents over the age of 50, starting today.

While the coronavirus has hit every age group, it’s been particularly devastating to those over the age of 50.

Of the 37,970 deaths reported in New York since the virus started spreading a year ago, 95.7% of the victims are over age 50.

Of the total number deaths recorded through Sunday, according to the New York State Department of Health, 3,235 (8.1%) were in the age 50-59 age group; 7,113 (17.8%) were 60-69; 10,369 (25.9%); 10,953 (27.5) were 80-89; and 6,541 (16.4) were over 90.

Of course, there are other factors that may have contributed to those deaths. Comorbidities, as they’re called, include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, dimentia, diabetes, renal disease, COPD and cancer – conditions that largely affect those over 50.

So it’s great news that the state has expanded coverage to this age group.

You don’t need a precondition to qualify other than your birthday being March 23, 1971, or earlier. As a plus, vaccination appointments close to home have become significantly easier to secure in recent days.

Check with your county health department, call the state vaccination hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-677-4829), or visit https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ for eligibility and vaccination site information near you.

So far, more than 7.5 million New Yorkers have gotten at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 2.5 million are fully vaccinated.

Still, at 58.9%, New York ranks 48th of the 50 states for the percentage of those 65 and over vaccinated at just 58.9 percent.

The faster we can get those numbers up, the safer we’ll be, the less pain and loss we’ll experience, and the sooner the state can reopen its economy and get people back to work.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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