The first 2.9 million payments The new Pfizer vaccine for the Coronavirus has two doses It was shipped from the company’s plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Sunday, where an aircraft went into operation Health officials hope the mega-national project will bring the epidemic Until the end of 2021.
But some countries are better than others at eliminating the Corona virus.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention distributes the doses on a weekly basis when released from the Pfizer factory and sent through UPS and FedEx. Next, it is up to authorities in every US state and territory to decide exactly where these shots are going – and who will be the first to receive them.
It is a messy process. The states, in essence, decide Who gets protection firstAnd who should continue to risk contracting COVID-19, and possibly dying from it.
“This is emergency triage,” Irwin Riddliner, founding director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, told The Daily Beast. “There are a lot of people at risk now and many sectors that legitimately need to pay attention to the early availability of a vaccine.”
“There will be people and groups that will be left out,” Redliner said.
Perhaps no state illustrates this dilemma better than Florida. The country is uniquely vulnerable to the coronavirus due to its combination of a large number of elderly people – nearly 400,000 of them live in nursing homes and other living facilities – and the Republican Party governor and legislature who has downplayed the severity of the pandemic while actively resisting local authorities’ efforts to control transmission. Through measures of social distancing and concealment of states.
Florida urgently needs a vaccine to curb a growing wave of infections –About 9,000 new cases per day in recent weeks– and prevent a terrifying rise in deaths. The state has already lost nearly 20,000 people. How many people die depends in part on who state authorities allow the vaccination first, as the vaccine grows slowly.
But Florida is already at fault, according to experts surveyed by The Daily Beast, and the results could be disastrous.
As states loosely align their vaccine distribution policies with broad guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four highly vulnerable groups compete for the first batch of vaccine: frontline health workers, nursing home residents, and workers in basic industries. , And people of color.
The problem: Florida health officials under Governor Ron DeSantes are putting them in the wrong order, experts said.
Neither the Florida Department of Health nor the DeSantis office responded to requests for comment for this story.
Florida strategy, A draft that is available here, The rush is 55% of Its initial supply is 180,000 doses Pfizer’s genetically modified “messenger RNA” vaccine – enough to vaccinate 90,000 people, assuming not to be damaged – for large hospitals to vaccinate their staff.
The state allocates the remaining 45 percent of doses to people in nursing homes. It seems likely that this ratio will also apply to the remaining million doses that Florida expects to receive from Pfizer before the end of the month.
But, as in most states, no early doses of Florida go to essential workers like grocery store workers, transport workers, pharmacy workers, and teachers. What makes the Florida plan so controversial is that, unlike many other large states, Florida authorities have refused to restrict companies and schools or enforce the wearing of masks. These policies left Florida’s primary workers no choice but to operate in a specially prepared and vulnerable audience.
Likewise, DeSantis did not elaborate a plan to accelerate vaccination into colorful populations that are uniquely susceptible to the virus due to structural defects that trace back generations. In Florida as in many other states, there is significant overlap between primary workers and communities of color, which underscores the importance of vaccinating these groups as quickly as possible.
“The need for strong equity strategies in Florida is extraordinary,” Lawrence Gustin, a public health expert at Georgetown University, told The Daily Beast.
As it stands, hundreds of thousands of essential workers in Florida have to wait, possibly for several months, for Pfizer to produce and ship more vaccine.
Experts told The Daily Beast that DeSantis and his health officials should change the arrangement and move essential workers near the front of the line. “The ethical claim that primary workers should be at the front of the ranks for vaccines is overwhelming,” Justin said.
“We cannot once again leave the basic workers of the poor and low in wealth to be last,” Reverend William Barber II, Co-Chair of the Campaign for the Poor, Tell New York times.
It might make sense that Florida had primary workers waiting for their shots if The state was making other efforts to protect these workers. But it is not. In September, DeSantis issued an Executive Order Blocking Florida cities From punishing people for not following local masks’ mandates.
The same has made it difficult for cities and counties to close restaurants. “I am against the mandate period,” said Desantes, a close ally of President Donald Trump. “I don’t think they work.”
DeSantis has repeatedly demonstrated a poor understanding of the basic science of viral epidemics and vaccines. Until it appeared Approval of the marginal proposal That people skip the second dose of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. Data from Pfizer’s large-scale Phase 3 trials indicated that without the second dose, the vaccine does not work.
With Responsible Science Deniers, Florida is forcing somewhat essential workers to interact with an unconvincing crowd – then refusing to help those same workers get vaccinated early.
Of course, experts admitted that the transfer of basic workers In line for a vaccine means pushing people at risk. It is not that hospital workers and nursing homes do not deserve protection. They do. And it’s not just that vaccinating this population early will not save lives. Will.
But these groups have ways to protect themselves that many of the essential workers don’t have.
“Healthcare workers in most facilities will be equipped with the latest personal protective equipment available,” Riedliner said, using the abbreviation for personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, masks and face shields. “This does not apply to a grocery store clerk or pharmacy clerk, or a bus driver.”
Likewise, since nursing homes are tightly controlled environments, employees can wear additional personal protective equipment, and limit visits in order to protect residents and reduce the urgency to vaccinate them. “Nursing homes do a great deal of testing on residents and staff,” Geoffrey Klausner, professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, who previously worked for the CDC, told The Daily Beast.
Given that nursing home workers are a major vector of facility outbreaks, the vaccination staff is providing protection to the population – and potentially freeing up doses that would otherwise go to residents to go to essential workers.
“If employees can be vaccinated and secure face masks, personal protective equipment, etc., one must be able to control infection and deaths in these settings and use early supply of vaccines to vaccinate front-line groups and other minorities,” Edwin Michael said the epidemiologist at Infectious Diseases Research Center in Global Health at the University of South Florida, for The Daily Beast.
Close to 22 million people in Florida could receive more and more equitable blanket protection from the state’s initial batches of the vaccine if authorities switch part of the early doses to the essentials. But even this strategy will not prevent the hardships that all experts have said are coming – or reverse the damage DeSantis has already done to his mandate.
Michael said: “The upcoming vaccines are too late and too low in terms of supply to prevent the upcoming third waves in most US provinces even if the planned gradual implementation begins in earnest from January 2021.” “Our simulations show that the only way to contain incoming waves is to increase social distancing measures, even with a moderate increase in people complying with these measures capable of suppressing and even leveling these waves in many areas.”