On Feb. 16, Buncombe County commissioners decided that political considerations were more important than science-based plans for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Rather than completing the vaccination of the most vulnerable population, the more than 40,000 seniors still on the COVID-19 vaccination waitlist, the commissioners decided to divert about 50% of the supply to their supporters under pressure from the teachers union.
As 90% of all COVID-19 deaths occur in the senior population, they have effectively sentenced some seniors to death.
The mountain-area COVID vaccine supply has been shorted by the state, as it did not factor in the older population in this area as part of their plan. The seniors in Buncombe County were already in danger. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has decided that sacrificing even more seniors is worth the political gain. Shame on them.
Remember this the next time they come up for election. We need all seniors still alive at that time and anyone who cares for a senior to vote them all out. They hope we will forget. I, for one, assuming I survive, will not.
— Gary Incorvia
Editor’s note: Xpress contacted the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners with the letter writer’s points and received the following response from Commissioner Amanda Edwards: “The decision to allocate 975 vaccines weekly to school personnel was a compromise to balance our over-65 population’s needs with the educational needs of our schoolchildren. Ensuring a safe return to the classroom is vital to the academic success of our children. Summer loss is a continual concern and challenge — in just a couple of months, children can lose up to 50% of the gains they made in the school year. Now our children face yearlong loss, and there’s no question they are falling further and further behind the longer schools operate remotely.
“Our children whose families cannot hire private tutors are impacted more significantly by this learning loss. To add further stresses on our community, school closures disproportionately affect working parents and especially working mothers who have quit jobs and college to be home with kids learning remotely. Vaccinating school personnel is an important step to getting parents back to work and in school to complete their degrees and getting our local economy back on track, while ensuring we stop the spread of the virus that has been unrelenting in its attack on our elderly population.”