My 95-year-old parents live in the independent over 55 community of Lansdowne Woods (formerly called Leisure World). I have been in contact with Loudoun Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend and the Virginia Department of Health regarding when my parents can be vaccinated for COVID. They are very eager to have this done and have expressed to their doctor that they are ready and willing.
Dr. Goodfriend told me that Virginia will be following the CDC guidelines for vaccination priorities. On Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, the CDC voted to move people over the age of 75 up from their current position in group 1C (all people over the age of 65 without underlying health conditions) to group 1B. As of 3:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, according to the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia still has not decided whether to follow this CDC guideline.
What is the state of Virginia waiting for? In Europe, they recognized that the majority of COVID deaths occur in the extreme elderly, and started their vaccinations with the over-90 age group, then the over-80 age group, etc. If my parents lived in Europe, they could be vaccinated by now.
Meanwhile, Florida and Texas just decided to take the CDC guidelines a step further and move their elderly even sooner in the priority cue. Florida has moved those over 65 to the first group in the general population to be vaccinated, with the first doses possibly being administered on Monday, Dec. 28. In contrast, my parents have been told by their doctor that they will most likely be offered a vaccination in February. If my parents lived in Florida, they could be getting a vaccination next week.
It is time for Virginia to do the right thing and vaccinate its extreme elderly now. I do not want to see my parents, or any other elderly Virginian, die because Virginia does not take care of its oldest citizens.