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Opinion: Gaming the vaccine system to jump the line isn't fair

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.3%. 1 min read.

Megan Ranney writes that in the interest of public health, we must release all the available doses of the Covid-19 vaccines -- but we must go further than that.

(CNN)On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a change in its Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan, an effort step up the grossly insufficient number of vaccinations that have been administered to date.

Although I see these plans as a much-needed step in getting first vaccine doses in arms, we must ask whether and how this will affect the speed and equity of vaccine administration.

Most of us believe that there should be some element of fairness in the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines.

A third, common way to handle prioritization is to create complex algorithms that weigh risk from one's job, underlying health problems, age and other relevant variables in order to provide a perfectly tailored list of who goes first, second and so forth.

Whether it's using the National Guard to assist in setting up vaccination centers, deploying mobile vans to access rural and urban populations, or working with community groups to increase uptake among at-risk populations, better is needed.

In my own state of Rhode Island, we've both prioritized those at highest occupational and age-related risk, and have knocked on doors in our hardest-hit community to get vaccines to those who need them most.

The new plan announced by HHS -- and after January 20, the Biden administration's plan, which will continue to prioritize using all available doses of the vaccine.

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