MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – With only a limited supply in this first round of vaccines heading our way, it is giving rise to growing competition among groups – hoping to skip ahead and get top billing.
Marin Health is where some of the first that will get the vaccine.
Who gets it and when has been a matter of deep debate for quite some time but there is worry about how it will all unfold.
In California, two groups comprised of health care experts, as well as those sitting on a community advisory vaccine committee, determined recommendations to Governor Gavin Newsom on who should receive the vaccine first.
The scarcity of this first roll out playing a dominant role.
“What we know is that it is going to be healthcare workers – not me like an MD, but those in er, nurses, dealing with covid patients on a daily basis first, we need those people to remain health bc we need those to treat us when we get infected and hospitalized,” Dr. John Swartzberg said.
Dr. John Swartzberg is an infectious disease specialist and a professor at UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
In addition to front-line medical workers, Phase 1a of the states plan those at long term care facilities.
“Those with the greatest risk of dying are at long term care facilities. 40 percent of deaths in that population, vaccinate them and the mortality rate and hospitalization rate declines,” Swartzberg said.
After that, first responders and then the doctor says it gets more complicated.
“Social justice issues emerge, certain zip codes getting sick, so should they get it before other zip codes? those in public policy are looking into those issues,” Swartzberg said.
With such a limited supply, competition is growing with some groups speaking up requesting they should be moved ahead of others.
“It will be disturbing to see people jumping the line due to connections or money yet, unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised, because we have seen this with the president getting medicine unavailable to others, and Guiliani, the president’s attorney saying he was given medicine only allowed to some. it is human nature,” Swartzberg said.