The Healthcare Fight of the Week: Vaccine Anyone?

After all the personal opinions die down on social media about whether the vaccine is safe and the naysayers express their mantra of “Never, I won’t take it”, the real fight begins.

Who is on the priority list? Besides hospital and clinic -based personnel and those residing in nursing homes who will draw the lucky straws?

Will it be politicized? After all, the distribution is allocated to the States to decide where the vaccine will go. The federal government is expected to issue final recommendations on who should be deemed essential soon. But it is largely up to the States to prioritize vaccine distribution among workers.

Lobbyists across the nation are hearing from their clients trying to get a place in the distribution line.  Who are the essential workers?  Will the guy who sacks our groceries get it before our Aunt Martha who still can live at home even though she is 92 years old? Do you think your Uber driver is an essential worker?

Did you make a political contribution to the Party that controls your legislature and Governor’s office this year?  It might be necessary if you want to open your doors to the public again. Colorado officials have said that ski industry employees living in congregate settings would be a part of the vaccine rounds. Georgia and Arkansas are including meatpacking and food processing plants. The Hotel Trades Council, a union representing hotel workers, and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union have asked for their members to be declared essential.

There will be many reports of wrong allocations. After all, unless the CDC guidelines are specific, all of us will be in line vying for inclusion in the vaccine distribution.

On the flip side of this argument, are those healthcare workers who still doubt whether they want to submit to the vaccine. Some healthcare facilities allow exemption from the regular flu vaccine for religious and health reasons. I am sure the same will be true for the covid 19 vaccine. I am also sure that the voluntary choice will disappear along the journey. What healthcare facility could allow health professionals to work with patients without the proper protection?

Health Sciences has eliminated a long list of pathogens through vaccination programs. They are all as safe as taking any type of medications. All medications have side effects and yet we don’t think too much about those. We do not spend any time with patients assuring them they won’t experience the side effects. We weigh the benefit versus the risks with all medical procedures. Risks are relative but we don’t think twice about climbing into a CT scanner and getting a large dose of radiation where long term effects are proven. I sincerely hope that the health care professionals I hear debating about taking the vaccine are just venting.

Since the “Big Fight” is coming over who is next in line, get it now or you may be in line to wait.

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