A report has revealed that thousands of people who work on computers, technicians in the lab, research scholars have been vaccinated against COVID19 without qualifying the criteria. Hospitals, which are affiliated with the University of Columbia, New York University, Harvard, and Vanderbilt, have immunized their workers who are not eligible to receive the vaccine. At the same time, millions of frontline workers are still waiting in line to get the vaccine. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines to make sure that vaccines first reach people who are in high-risk groups. Health care workers who deal with COVID19 patients, residents, and staff members at nursing homes and people who are above 75 years of age and certain essential workers have been kept in high-risk groups. Each state in the US has come up with its own version of guidelines, but as the pressure of vaccine rollout is increasing, people have been demanding a more flexible approach. The officials from the CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said it will be apt to loosen the criteria and vaccinate as many people as possible. Still, these officials have not said that people who are in their 20s and 30s should be given the vaccine before elderly people and frontline workers, who are at a higher risk. The Commissioner of the FDA, Stephen Hahn has said that the state should prioritize groups of people who are at a higher risk of the disease.
A handful of the country’s most prestigious academic hospitals have defied the most important guidelines set by the government. Staff members who have nothing to do with patient care and who are not 75 years old and above have been given the shots. As per the report, some of these institutions have been among the first beneficiaries of the limited supplies of the vaccine in the US. A scientist from John Hopkins University in Baltimore Ruth Faden has said that connections have no place in the vaccine rollout. If vaccine rollout does not go in the right manner, the consequences will be disastrous. People need to adhere to the guidelines laid down by the government. Dr. Stanley Perlman, an immunologist at the University of Iowa has said that the CDC has never asked to include people in the first tier of the vaccine rollout who are not linked with patient care such as administrators and graduate students. Dr. Stanley Perlman is also a member of the committee that has set the guidelines for vaccine rollout in the country. Vanderbilt University in Nashville has asked all its staff members to enroll in the vaccination program regardless of they have been treating patients or not. The vaccination has started in the months of December last year when the Tennessee Hospital Association has approved inoculation for all staff members of the hospital irrespective of their job profiles. The medical center has announced that it is going to vaccinate people who are in the high-risk category, but only after they are done giving the initial vaccine dose to around 15000 people who are employed at the hospital. The Chief Communication officer at the Medical Center, John Howser has said that they have been pursuing the orders from the Tennessee Department of Health while vaccinating people from the Vanderbilt Health workforce and other people from the priority group. On the other hand, the Tennessee Department of Health has said that they have been pushed to use any remaining vaccine to immunize high priority people at the beginning of the vaccine rollout. Sadly, the authorities have tagged their own staff members as high priority people.
In Boston, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, which are affiliated with Harvard University, have vaccinated more than 26000 staff members. However, hospitals have included people who have been looking after patients as well and those who might have been exposed to the virus, and those who have been a part of clinical trials. Around 2.1 million frontline workers have been vaccinated in New York. Governor Andrew has said that hospitals that do not immunize faster to use their doses will have to pay a fine of up to $100000. The word has spread faster at research labs. Columbia University, medical centers, and hospitals have started distributing shots to everyone regardless of their eligibility. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have started gathering to get the vaccine. A report has said that almost everyone from a cancer research lab, which is affiliated with the Millstein Hospital, has received the shots. Although the officials from the hospital have said that people who do not need shots have not been given the shots. The vice president of the hospital has said that they have been following the directives of the New York Health Department. However, some people have been upset that they do not qualify for the vaccine. The officials have said that they have received an email from the state authorities saying that hospitals that are done vaccinating 15000 staff members who interact with patients can start vaccinating other workers. However, the email has not mentioned anything about older people and high-risk groups.