As of Jan. 12 2021, Orange County Health Officer and Director of the OC Health Care Agency (HCA), Dr. Clayton Chau, opened up COVID-19 vaccinations to residents ages 65 and older.
My aim is to reduce hospitalizations and deaths as rapidly as possible, and we must prioritize our vaccine allocation to protect the most vulnerable in our community.
He tells the press that “…after carefully reviewing cases, hospitalization/intensive care units (ICUs), and mortality data related to older adults and noting the especially concerning outcomes for this specific population here in OC,” says Dr. Chau. “My aim is to reduce hospitalizations and deaths as rapidly as possible, and we must prioritize our vaccine allocation to protect the most vulnerable in our community.”
OC Emergency Medical Services found that older adults have dramatically higher death rates in OC and those numbers have increased steeply since November, surpassing the number of deaths in the months of July and August.
On top of that, it was found that, currently, 54% of people hospitalized for COVID-19 are over the age of 60, 72% of the patients in ICUs and 72% of patients on ventilators are over the age of 60. The number of people ages 65 to 84 years old who have the coronavirus are rising rapidly.
More research on those hospitals show that older adults from low Health Equity are almost twice as likely to die from COVID-19 compared to older adults who live in high Health Equity areas.
Residents of the county are encouraged to register on Othena to get notified when their age group is eligible to receive the vaccine. There you can register for appointments and see which ones are available by filling out their online form.
Patience is key as the vaccines are distributed. To learn more about the County’s Phased Distribution plan, go here.
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