Seniors behind on vaccines; COVID funeral cost program overlooked by many

Few people are also taking advantage of a government program to reimburse Americans for COVID-19 funeral expenses.

MIAMI – Seniors are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, but a new study shows only 15% of them have gotten a booster shot.

The FDA has recommended booster doses for people who are most vulnerable, including that age group, along with those at high risk of severe disease and those who live or work in high-risk environments.

Breakthrough cases are rare, but the CDC reported that of those cases that end in death, 85% were among people age 65 and older.

Reimbursement for funeral expenses

Recent data shows that a government program to reimburse Americans for COVID funeral expenses is going largely unused.

Consumer advocate Ed Michael Reggie with said the program, administered by FEMA, will reimburse people who lost a family member to COVID for up to nine thousand dollars in funeral costs.

“Amazingly, with 700,000 COVID deaths so far, fewer than 40% of Americans have applied for it, and in Florida, it’s below the national average. There’ve been 55,000 deaths in Florida but only 37% of Floridians have applied for this reimbursement. I don’t think people know about it,” Reggie said.

The program covers COVID-related deaths going back to January 2020 and moving forward indefinitely, at least for the near term.

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About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.