Who gets coronavirus vaccine first? Maybe not all front-line healthcare workers, HHS committee told

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Focusing on front-line healthcare workers for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine once it is readily available may not always be the most ethical distribution method, panelists recently told the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, according to CNBC.

Throughout the Sept. 23 panel, Sara Oliver, MD, a CDC epidemic intelligence service officer, stated specific employees in health care settings, such as security workers, nursing aides and delivery employees, who may not have sufficient PPE, are most at danger of infection..

On Sept. 1, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report that prioritizes offering the vaccine to healthcare workers in high-risk settings, first responders, people at greater threat for serious COVID-19 infection and older long-lasting care center citizens..

Kelly Gooch –
Thursday, September 24th, 2020

While some healthcare facilities report sufficient supply of PPE, numerous are still reporting shortages of equipment such as N95 masks and are requesting for federal assistance. And demonstrations have actually occurred at hospitals across the nation over PPE scarcities throughout the pandemic..

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Public health authorities have actually warned that preliminary COVID-19 vaccine supply is not expected to be adequate to cover high-risk populations such as front-line healthcare workers and retirement home homeowners. It will be essential to choose which groups will be focused on.

However “the question is, how at threat are healthcare employees, particularly in the United States, especially in the age of appropriate PPE,” Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, said at the National Vaccine Advisory Committee conference, according to CNBC.” Because at least in our hospital, transmission from patient to physician with PPE [is] absolutely no.”. Dr. Emanuel included that the distribution plan need to prioritize certain healthcare workers if they are more at-risk than others, but having all health care workers in the very first prioritization group is “probably not warranted at this point in the course of the pandemic,” business news channel reported..

The committee, part of HHS, provides peer evaluation, consultation, advice and suggestions to the assistant secretary for health concerning immunization subjects. Panelists presenting to the committee Sept. 23 dealt with considerations and recommendations for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.