New Blue Cross and Blue Shield Survey Show Minnesota’s Vaccinated Senior Population Uncertainty About ‘Returning to Normal’ in Varying Rates
By: Mary Balstad firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnesota – It has been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic surged in the United States and across the world. Public health organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) work to combat the virus and provide information to the public about the best ways to stay safe during the ongoing pandemic.
According to a new survey from BlueCross/BlueShield, vaccinated senior citizens in Minnesota are still highly concerned about COVID-19 and the two variants, Delta and Mu. The survey was conducted among 500 Minnesota residents who were at least 64 years of age and received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The survey was fielded July 26th to August 13th, 2021. It mainly focused on how senior citizens are returning to ‘normal’ routines at different rates. Longtime radio personality in the Twins Cities John Hines partnered with Blue Cross to ‘raise awareness of health issues that face seniors…’
Accurate information about COVID-19 and the vaccine is imperative to educating and protecting oneself during the pandemic. One piece of advice Hines shares is to ‘err on the side of caution,’ especially around those who are considered ‘high risk,’ such as the elderly, immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, or experience lung and breathing problems, as according to the Mayo Clinic website. This can lead to a heightened sense of anxiety, fear and other negative emotions. 40% of survey participants reported not feeling comfortable visiting with unvaccinated grandchildren due to these feelings of uncertainty surrounding the virus and its variants.
Hines encourages people to make plans with someone who is older in their life, such as grandparents. This can include a phone call, or socially distanced gathering. About half of the participants in the survey have reported their return to public spaces such as restaurants, shopping centers and movie theaters. Two-thirds of the participants also have daily, face-to-face interactions with others. 95% of those surveyed still practice at least one precaution recommended by the CDC. However, Hines urges people to also focus on the upcoming flu season and preparing to get their influenza vaccine.
More information about the survey and other health information for senior citizens can be found at bluecrossmn.com/seniors.