R.I. considers new vaccine priority, emphasizing age and health conditions, not occupations

THE R.I. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH is considering new phasing for vaccine distribution. / COURTESY R.I. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Health is discussing a new approach to vaccine distribution, one that prioritizes recipients by age and health conditions rather than occupation. The more streamlined proposal also would reduce the distribution phases from four to three, focusing on the highest risk factors for serious COVID-19 illness. The original plan would…
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  1. Finally. A sensible approach. You can see why focusing on occupations is a hornet’s nest. Everyone thinks their group should be a priority and all the reasons are quite valid. But leadership requires making choices with scarce resources based on the best data available where you can have the greatest impact. This involves people at risk of DYING. That clearly needs to be priority one. To minimize DEATH. It’s a moral obligation to attack that first. Age-based will cover many underlying health conditions already so i’d still argue that is a cleaner, more efficient approach. It’s easy to confirm someone’s age…..how do you confirm the underlying health conditions without introducing more complexity in the process? Focus on age first and foremost and you are covering the most ground in a fair and equitable solution that allows you to pick up the pace AND reduce deaths. While that’s going on work on finding a quick solution for tackling the underlying conditions and then maybe select groups. But that should be secondary. Focus on age first and you’ll make a huge improvement in my opinion.

  2. Completely agree. 98% of the Covid deaths in RI are people 50 years and older. If you were to vaccinate young healthy teachers, older Rhode Islanders would have to wait, many would get infected, and die.
    This vaccine needs to be distributed by age. The Teachers Union is selfishly pushing teachers ahead of the truly vulnerable seniors. Sadly the politicians may chose to gain teacher votes and let senior citizens wait…and die. Shame on them if they let that happen.