With all the buzz around the coronavirus vaccine, who decides who gets the treatment first? Over 160 vaccine candidates are currently in development around the world. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is currently working out who will have access to the vaccine when it is released. Researchers are hoping to have the vaccine available by the end of the year.
Per the New York Times, the CDC is working on a ranking system that would include crucial security and medical professionals first, followed by essential workers and those at higher risk for the disease. With this plan, elderly citizens would get the vaccine before children, those with underlying conditions would ahead of those without those conditions.
The scheduling of the vaccine is being discussed and reviewed by committees and the CDC. Schedules will be distributed for the first million doses of the vaccine and then a tiered system for the hundreds of millions of other doses available to Americans. Some experts are arguing that Black and Latino populations should have access to the vaccines first since studies have shows those races to be at higher risk for the coronavirus.
Dayna Bowen Matthew, dean of the George Washington University Law School, told the New York Times believes that race should play a role in deciding who gets the vaccine first. Dr. Matthew told the New York Times, ” “It’s racial inequality — inequality in housing, inequality in employment, inequality in access to health care — that produced the underlying diseases. That’s wrong. And it’s that inequality that requires us to prioritize by race and ethnicity.”
Another distribution idea is a weighted lottery system that includes factors like age, job, or underlying conditions.
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