Wall St. Before Main St. for H1N1 Vaccine?

In addition to Goldman-Sachs, other non-medical businesses receiving vaccine in New York City included Citigroup, the Federal Reserve Bank and Time. And leading hospitals in the city have gotten vaccine including New York Presbyterian, St. Vincent's, NYU, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Montefiore, Mount Sinai, North Shore and Continuum. Continuum reported receiving 8,100 doses out of 48,600 ordered.

Balancing Those Who Need Vaccine

Poland pointed out that it was important to strike a balance between vaccinating priority groups and the general population, and that while doling out vaccine on a rolling schedule is the best way to vaccinate the greatest number of people, the practice can be frustrating for some.

"When [a person] gets immunized, then the child in our family who can't take the vaccine is protected," Poland said. "Our coworker has some degree of protection, as does the person we stand next to in the elevator. You want to get as many people immunized as quickly as possible."

Ethics Watchdog Group Incensed By CDC's Actions

Still, the fact that some businesses appear to be getting the vaccine before some other groups has caused outrage among many doctors -- especially in light of reports that hospitals and health departments report that they are experiencing shortages of vaccine.

Dr. Albert Levy, a New York physician, told ABC News that he hasn't received "a single dose of the injectable [vaccine]" and that it is "rather frustrating to me and my patients and truly upsetting to hear that the Wall Street executives have found yet another way to take advantage of the rest of the community."

Dr. Lisa Thorn, a family physician in Averill Park, N.Y., says this "confirms what we have known for years ... even when it comes to medical care, people in high places consider themselves more valuable to society than everyone else."

"As we are still in the early weeks of the vaccine supply, we are by definition in a 'shortage' and do not have enough vaccine to meet the state's needs," says Seth Boffelli, a representative at the Wisconsin Department of Health.

Dr. Frank James, San Juan County Health Officer in Washington, said they "do not have adequate vaccine to prevent the spread of disease, as the vaccine ... continues to arrive too late for that goal to be practical."

Other hospitals throughout the country report receiving doses of the vaccine, but that the supplies they have been allotted are woefully inadequate.

CREW executive director Melanie Sloan alluded to this situation when she wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"Although CREW has been unable to uncover the demographic makeup of [these companies], surely it is safe to assume the vast majority of their employees are not pregnant women and children, young adults up to 24 years old, and healthcare workers," Sloan wrote. "Under these circumstances, it is the height of irresponsibility for the CDC to approve distribution of the vaccine to anywhere other than where it is most likely to be provided to those at the greatest risk."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...