Letter to the Editor: State Officials Decide They, Too, Know More Than the CDC


Living in Lewis County, I have repeatedly encountered people who refuse to follow the CDC’s recommended protocols to help prevent the spread of Covid.

Now, the vaccines have been coming out and the state has been setting guidelines for who would get shots first, second, and so on. The CDC’s guidelines which we hear repeatedly on TV and can find on their website is that 65 year olds and up should be in group 1c, just below front line hospital workers, group senior rest homes, 75s and older, and other first responders.

But our state medical officials are now the ones who have chosen to ignore CDC guidelines and move the bar to 70 and above, moving 65 to 69 year olds from near the top to last in getting their vaccines. Those of us who are in that age group are now grouped with all the youth and considered least at risk.  

Data tells us how screwed up this is.  

CDC data shows that 66,000 of 65 to 74 year olds (that’s how they’re grouped) have died from Covid in the U.S.. It also shows 2,100 of 25 to 34 year olds have died from Covid.  There are 30 times more deaths in the 65 to 74 year olds than the 25 to 34 year olds, but our state, against CDC guidelines and what most states are doing, have grouped the 65 to 69 year olds with the 25 to 34 year olds and everyone else under 70 who have not otherwise qualified for the earlier groups in getting their vaccines.

How can the CDC say 65 year olds and above are so at risk they should be high up on the priority list, but our state can put 65 to 69 year olds in the lowest priority group?  Anybody who reads my social media pages know I’ve been a very strong supporter of following the protocols to help restrict the spread of the virus.  

Now, I feel the state medical officials making these decisions have gone off track themselves and deciding on their own what they feel is best.  Is there any sanity around this anywhere?

There is a new variant of Covid which spreads far easier coming our way, but 65 to 69 year olds, despite their far higher death rates in that age group, are considered the least at risk and can’t get vaccines until all other groups have theirs because our state officials have decided they, too, know better than the CDC.     


Neal Kirby