nydailynews.com nydailynews.com 31 Dec, 2020 18:30 am

What truly ethical vaccine distribution looks like

What truly ethical vaccine distribution looks like
Last week, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advised the CDC to prioritize equally both “essential” non-health-care workers and people 75 years of age and older during the next wave of COVID-19 vaccination. While this is an improvement over earlier draft advice that would have excluded all older and sicker Americans from the next phase of vaccine rollout, under the proposal that passed, those between 65 and 74, and those under 65 but with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma or cancer, who are at very high risk of being hospitalized or dying, have been told to wait.

While this is an improvement over earlier draft advice that would have excluded all older and sicker Americans from the next phase of vaccine rollout, under the proposal that passed, those between 65 and 74, and those under 65 but with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma or cancer, who are at very high risk of being hospitalized or dying, have been told to wait.Prioritizing people over 65 and those under 65 but with two or more underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of being hospitalized or dying is not only a better strategy for preventing our hospitals from being overwhelmed in the second surge; identifying such persons is simpler and clearer.Age and underlying medical conditions are medical criteria.But the numbers are clear: 90% of all COVID-19 deaths are in people over 65 or those with two or more underlying medical conditions that put them at risk.

Some essential workers are older or have underlying medical conditions.I suggest that they instead follow the advice of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and the American College of Physicians and, in the next wave, vaccinate those individuals with two or more underlying medical conditions, all older adults in congregate living settings, and then all individuals 65 years and older who are not otherwise included in these groups.

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