COLUMBUS, Ohio – As the Food and Drug Administration works to expand COVID-19 recall eligibility, AARP Ohio works to eliminate confusion about the process for seniors, especially those living in nursing homes.
More than eight thousand Ohioans in long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19 since April 2020.
But Latoya Peterson, associate state director of advocacy with AARP Ohio, noted that vaccines played an important role in saving lives, preventing the deaths of around 1,800 Ohio seniors in the early days. from 2021.
She noted that there was a lot of agreement on which groups would benefit the most from a recall.
âThese are immunocompromised people and adults 65 years of age or older,â Peterson said. “African Americans are also likely to have an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, obesity, or chronic lung disease that puts a higher risk of severe cases of COVID-19.”
AARP Ohio has a six-question booster injection checklist that family caregivers can use if they have a loved one in a nursing home. It is available online at aarp.org/Ohio.
Peterson said people with a spouse, sibling, parent or other loved one in a long-term care facility are rightly concerned about their well-being during the pandemic.
âSo we hear questions about the safety of their loved ones and just about transparency in the nursing facility,â Peterson said. “They really want to make sure their spouse, parent, loved one or mother is safe and looked after.”
She encouraged them to ask healthcare facilities what they are doing to educate residents about booster injections, and to get answers on transparency as well.
âHow does the facility communicate when a loved one receives the reminder? Peterson asked. “Will there be a notification?” Will their medical records be updated? There are also questions about prioritization. Does the facility start with residents most at risk? And what can be done to make sure a loved one receives a reminder? ”
The AARP COVID-19 dashboard shows a sharp drop in deaths from COVID-19 after vaccines were made available earlier this year.