Reporter @nytimes on mainly #covid19 Winner 2019 Victor Cohn Prize. Before: Founding EIC @Spectrum, co-founder @CultureDish DMs open OR Apoorva@NYTimes.com
At hospitals affiliated with NYU, Columbia, Harvard and Vanderbilt, 20- and 30-something grad students, IT and billing staff and administrators (none of whom see patients) have been vaccinated ahead of the elderly and other high-risk populations 1/x
You may say, well, so what? At least the doses are being used. That's true, but hospitals, especially, are well positioned to vaccinate high-risk groups (their patients!) and many have interpreted "frontline staff" very liberally. 2/x
When the hospitals, "custodians" of the state's vaccine supply, were done vaccinating their frontline staff, they could have contacted their state departments of health instead of rolling out to employees who never see patients. 4/x
@apoorva_nyc ODs and Dentists had to stop seeing patients because lack of PPE and testing. Same with Geriatrics. The same hospitals that will give their Grad student a shot are saying no dice you are not a health worker, so Phase N for you.
Allowing healthy young employees to cut in line ahead of people who really need the vaccine "is such a naked display of privilege," as one staffer told me. Thanks to all the sources whom I cannot name and to @SaskiaPopescu and @fadenethx
@apoorva_nyc @FaheemYounus I know someone in hospital admin who *works from home*. They got their first dose before my family member *who has been actively treating covid patients* got theirs. A good 2 weeks before.
Absurd and dangerous.
“It’s such a naked display of privilege, you know?” said one Columbia faculty member who did not get the vaccine... “It’s because we’re at elite universities and medical centers.” twitter.com/apoorva_nyc/st…
This is why simple age-based distribution is better (cf. Israel).
A more complicated prioritization scheme was only equitable on paper.
With our limited state capacity, we got two outcomes: slower distribution in general and interpretation of "frontline" that favors connections twitter.com/apoorva_nyc/st…
If this is happening in Phase1a/ healthcare just wait for the ‘tricky’ groups...
Do it by age. Matches risk. Hard to game the system. People have ID with their birthday on it. twitter.com/apoorva_nyc/st…
The vaccine distribution system is a mess & things like this def need to be fixed to ensure the most at need get vax first, but otoh we need to vax basically everyone so on an individual-level basis, I also kinda think anyone offered a vaccine spot should prob take it regardless twitter.com/apoorva_nyc/st…
Excellent @nytimes piece & 🧵 from @apoorva_nyc
Sure, it takes effort for academic centers to work w state depts of pub health to figure out who should get remaining #CovidVaccine doses after giving to frontline staff, but it is a necessary effort to save lives & promote trust twitter.com/apoorva_nyc/st…
Excellent piece by @apoorva_nyc Many hospitals, including the largest in NY, & also local county governments are doing this. While my elderly parents, self employed essential workers, wait their turn..... twitter.com/apoorva_nyc/st…
I’ve heard about this happening at hospitals across LA too. It seems vaccinations for all “health care workers” includes administrators and researchers, who exclusively work from home and are at lower risk than older folks who remain far away from getting their shots. twitter.com/apoorva_nyc/st…
Assistant Professor of Health Policy and the History of Medicine, Yale School of Public Health. @YaleSPH, @YaleHPM. Formerly @Penn, @Princeton, @SJPrep.
The intent was that academic medical centers would be partners in the rollout to phase 1a groups, stewards of doses to be given to their _qualifying_ staff and to other 1a groups in their communities. It's clear that in many cases that message was ignored. nytimes.com/2021/01/10/hea…
Without high engagement of well-resourced local health depts, privately run, profit-focused health care institutions/mega-pharmacies will do whatever is easiest/most aligned with their financial incentives to quietly get doses out the door. This is going to be the story all year. twitter.com/jasonlschwartz…
Physician, researcher, advocate for the notion that an ounce of data is worth a thousand pounds of opinion
Views here surely my own
Professor, Dean @Brown_SPH
Important @apoorva_nyc piece. Highlights bigger issue
Hospitals rightly prioritized for vaccines because of front-line workers: nurses, doctors, staff
But many vaccinating non-front-line staff, administrators, even wealthy donors on their Board
I have mixed feelings here
We need to get shots out
Reasonable to vaccinate folks working in hospital lab
But administrators? donors on boards? Their families?
There is a better way
Hospitals should use left-over doses for elderly, at-risk folks in their community
Hospitals are getting mixed messages
Told to use their vaccines quickly (good)
Told to not let any cut in line (appropriate)
Told not to give it to non-hospital folks (ugh)
Hospitals have doses left over (due to staff hesitancy)
They are worried about not using it right
So states need to send a clear message
Get vaccines out
Obviously prioritize front-line workers
But with left-overs, start vaccinating community members at high risk
It doesn't have to be perfect
But we can do a lot better than we are doing now
Brazen cutting in line to get the vaccine: “It’s such a naked display of privilege, you know?” said one Columbia faculty member. “It’s because we’re at elite universities and medical centers.”
‘The only reason that they have as much vaccine as they have was because they were custodians of vaccine — because they have cold storage,” the official said. “It wasn’t N.Y.U.’s vaccine to use for N.Y.U.”
Can you comment on this, @nyulangone?
This excellent reporting by @apoorva_nyc comes as no surprise. We knew this would happen. Vaccine guidelines may come from up high, but allocation decisions are made in the trenches by human beings with human foibles. nytimes.com/2021/01/10/hea…
Yet, pp at high risk like those w/ cancer are left to wait.
“20-something who works on computers. Young researcher who studies cancer. Technicians in basic research labs.
These are some of the thousands of pp who have been immunized against the virus” nytimes.com/2021/01/10/hea…
Nataniel Lester-Coll, MD
Sun Jan 10
“Still, those officials did not envision that the vaccines would be given to healthy people in their 20s and 30s ahead of older people, essential workers or others at high risk.”
@DrLesterColl @apoorva_nyc @nytimes I have friends in medical billing who work from home full time. They have been vaccinated because they work for the hospital. They are young, healthy and some have had Covid very recently. Why are they being vaccinated before elderly?
An important look at privilege in the vaccine line by @apoorva_nyc @NYTimes. One can only wonder if the confusion and missteps in this complicated rollout would be so high if there had been real leadership at the very top of government? 🤔 nytimes.com/2021/01/10/hea…
This is so frustrating.
Hospitals should be vaccinating their high risk patients when they have excess vaccines, not young staff who have no patient facing duties.
Just have a list of patients willing to come in with moments notice.
Elite hospitals in NY, Boston and other cities where most elderly have yet to get the vaccine are giving it to countless administrators, young researchers and other staff with zero patient interaction. @apoorva_nyc: nytimes.com/2021/01/10/hea…
Thanks to @Apoorva_NYC. Misappropriation of #covid19 #vaccine through “cronyism and connections" is a violation of #humanrights.
Prisoners in New York State prisons @NYSDOCCS do not have access to vaccination. @HealthNYGov @NYGovCuomo
Wowsers: “Administrators and young graduate students have been inoculated at leading research hospitals, contrary to state and federal guidelines.” 👀👀👀
Big ol’ scoop by @apoorva_nyc nytimes.com/2021/01/10/hea…
Who is surprised to learn that healthcare in the US is not distributed based on need but connections and power?
At Elite Medical Centers, @Columbia, @nyuniversity, @Harvard @VanderbiltU Staff Who Don’t Qualify Are Vaccinated
@nytimes @apoorva_nyc nytimes.com/2021/01/10/hea…
Grad students, faculty at big med schools who might get early vaccine access even if they don't see patients or qualify. This is an issue of planning on the part of the school, the govt, etc. I don't blame the people who got it.
physician and scientist focused on employing methods of simulation modeling and clinical epidemiology to address the syndemics of HIV, HCV, and drug use
via @NYTimes Infuriating and devastatingly disappointing. @NYUTischSchool is my alma matter. I expect more from an elite healthcare institution in the middle of a public health crisis. This is an impeachable offense to use the language of today nytimes.com/2021/01/10/hea…
Yes it's true, hospitals' excess doses should have gone to elderly patients ahead of young, healthy workers.
But the biggest scandal in vaccination now is not that the wrong people are getting shots.
It's the too few people are getting shots at all.
1/ Many hospital workers who shouldn’t be high-priority, such as young grad students who don’t see patients or work on #COVID19 research, are getting vaccinated ahead of more at-risk groups, as @apoorva_nyc reports.