KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — Health care workers in the United States are angry as those with higher exposure to Covid-19 were not the first ones to be vaccinated.
NPR reported that medical professionals in hospitals in hospitals in Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, California, and elsewhere with most exposure to Covid-19 are not always the first to get vaccinated, while those who have little or no contact with Covid-19 have received their shots.
Jennifer DeVincent, a neonatal intensive care unit nurse in the Mass General Brigham hospital who attends deliveries with Covid-19 positive mothers, said that she was angry to know that some of the first to be vaccinated were managers, coordinators, and others who do not do hands-on patient care.
She said that the Mass General Brigham Hospital, uses an app for hospital staff to sign up for vaccinations and everyone is sorted into different waves which is meant to sort them according to those who are at higher risk.
However, there were problems even from the beginning, like when the app crashed when too many people tried to sign up at once. When it was up and running again, all the appointments were filled within minutes.
On the other hand, night shift workers at Mass General Brigham woke up late to have learnt that they had slept through the announcement of the new system and sign-up windows.
“Those that work the most have had the hardest time getting an appointment because you can’t always log on at that exact moment,” DeVincent said.
The medical director for emergency preparedness at Mass General Brigham Paul Biddinger, acknowledged that there are challenges and miscommunications and said they should have managed the expectations better, given the limited doses available.
A similar challenge was seen in New York-Presbyterian and Stanford Medicine. Meanwhile in New York, a doctor affiliated with Northwell Health who conducts 10 or more Covid-19 tests a day on patients, has not been able to get a vaccine appointment.
While waiting for her turn to get vaccinated, the doctor saw colleagues such as radiologists and many who either work remotely or in fields who do not treat Covid-19 patients every day posting selfies on social media that they were getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
“It’s really very upsetting. Throughout this whole pandemic, I’ve never felt so dejected as I do right now,” the doctor said.
The doctor said that each day treating a Covid-19 patient is stressful and knowing that although there’s a vaccine, not being able to access it, just adds to the challenge.
However, the chief quality officer and deputy chief medical officer at Northwell, Mark Jarett insisted that there’s a detailed rollout plan that takes into account not just who has the most exposure to Covid-19 patients, but other factors as well.
For example, Jarett said that as hospitals may only have two interventional radiologists, they may get moved up in the line.
Northwell also wants to not vaccinate a whole unit at a time as since people may have side effects from the vaccine, some may miss work the next day.