Mayo Clinic explains why certain people will get vaccinated first

Healthcare workers and long term care facility residents will be at the front of the line when a coronavirus vaccine is first distributed in the United States. Today the Mayo Clinic is explaining the reasons why.

Dr. Melanie Swift with Mayo Clinic says the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted last week to recommend the allocation of the first doses to those two demographics, and that decision was made after a thorough and thoughtful process.

“While we would love to vaccinate everyone in the country right away, we just don’t have enough vaccine or enough infrastructure to do that,” Swift says.

She says long term care facility residents are in the first tier because they have accounted for 40% of the deaths from coronavirus.

“They are prioritized alongside healthcare personnel,” Swift says of the residents.

When it comes to healthcare workers, Swift says it comes down to four major factors.

She says first off, there’s an ethical obligation to protect the people who have a better chance of being exposed. She says the second factor is the fact that healthcare personnel are more likely to take the vaccine at a higher rate.

“They tend to accept vaccine once they understand the science and the safety of the vaccine,” Swift says.

She says healthcare personnel set an example for the rest of the population, and vaccinating them first will help boost public confidence that the vaccine works.

Finally, Swift says feasibility is a major factor in vaccinating the healthcare workers.

“We will be able to distribute it efficiently to the 21 million people who comprise our healthcare workforce in the United States,” Swift says.

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