Accommodating Substantial Covid-19 Risk Factors within Maine’s Age-Based Vaccine Prioritization
Dr. Alan B. Cobo-Lewis, the director of the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, has posted a position paper in response to Maine’s recent move to age-based prioritization for Covid-19 vaccines (modified shortly thereafter to prioritize teachers and child care providers).
The justification was that age is very strongly associated with Covid hospitalization and death, more so than many risk factors, as discussed at the briefing, Indicators of Severe COVID-19 Illness (PDF), delivered by Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention (February 26, 2021).
Cobo-Lewis’ position paper, Accommodating Substantial Covid-19 Risk Factors within Maine’s Age-Based Approach to Vaccine Prioritization (PDF), argues the following:
- A 10-year increase in age is associated with a 3-fold increase in Covid-19 mortality.
- A handful of risk factors, including Down syndrome (on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of risk factors but not included in the Maine CDC’s public presentation) are associated with a 3-fold, or possibly 10-fold, increase in Covid-19 mortality.
- Within Maine’s age-based framework for vaccine prioritization, any condition associated with a 3-fold increase in Covid-19 mortality could give a person with that condition a 10-year “boost” in access to vaccines. Any condition with a 9-fold increase in Covid-19 mortality could give a person with that condition a 20-year “boost” in access to vaccines.
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