“Stop Treating 70- and 90-Year-Olds the Same” – New York Times opinion

not the sameHarry Campbell

“Every summer around this time, pediatricians’ offices are flooded with children getting the vaccines they need to start another year of school.

“Doctors base their advice on which shots patients should get when on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine recommendations. The guidelines are presented in two schedules, one for children, the other for adults, both divided into subgroups based on developmental biology and social behaviors common at different ages. Unfortunately, there’s a major problem with the guidelines. And it’s representative of a larger failing in our health care system.

“There are 17 subgroupings for children from birth through age 18. That makes sense because, of course, a 6-month-old has had little time to develop immunity, weighs far less than an 8-year-old and is exposed to fewer people than a teenager. There are five subgroups for adults. But all Americans 65 and older — including the two fastest-growing segments of our population, the 80- to 90-year-olds and those over 100 — are lumped in a single group, as if bodies and behaviors don’t change over the last half-century of life.

“You don’t need to be a doctor to see that this is absurd.”

Read this New York Times opinion column in its entirety, click here.

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