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Vaccinate Older People Quickly

We know that older people are much more likely than younger ones to have their lives cut short by COVID-19. It is a disease they preys primarily on the elderly.

In both West Virginia and Ohio, state officials have made vaccinating older people against the virus a top priority. Residents of nursing homes already are being inoculated.

What about older people who are not in long-term care centers? They are significantly down the vaccine priority list from tens of thousands of other, often younger, people in our states.

Ensuring certain people, such as those in the health care professions, remain healthy to take care of the rest of us makes sense. In general, there is no argument with vaccine priorities in either of our states.

Still, it is likely that even with rescue from the disease in sight, some older West Virginians and Ohians will contract COVID-19 — and perish from it before their turns to get the shots come.

We urge — not encourage, but plead with — officials in both our states to do all they can to speed up the process of protecting older people against the virus. Anything that can be done in that regard will save lives, beyond any doubt.

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