Health workers, patients with conditions like diabetes, older Americans and prison employees work through their places in the vaccine line.
Anti-Abortion Faith Leaders Support Use Of COVID-19 Vaccines
In a growing consensus, religious leaders at the forefront of the anti-abortion movement in the United States are telling their followers that the leading vaccines available to combat COVID-19 are acceptable to take, given their remote and indirect connection to lines of cells derived from aborted fetuses. One outspoken foe of abortion based in Dallas, Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, has called the vaccines a “present from God.” (Crary, 1/10)
Pope Francis To Have COVID-19 Vaccine, Says It Is The Ethical Choice For All
Pope Francis said on Saturday he planned to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as early as next week and urged everyone to get a shot, to protect not only their own lives but those of others. “I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine,” the Pope said in an interview with TV station Canale 5. “It is an ethical choice because you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others.” (1/9)
Health Systems Leaders Encourage Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination
“(Identify) who the influencers (at an organization) are. It may be the ICU nurse who is a major influencer in the hospital system. Really highlighting the influencers getting vaccinated and then sharing the message of new hope, is a potential strategy,” said Dr. David Zieg, clinical services leader at human resources consultancy Mercer. It’s a tactic major health systems are deploying. Lloyd Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health, received the vaccine Dec. 29 after weeks of it being offered to front-line caregivers, a spokesman said in an email, adding, “We think it’s important for our hospital and system leaders to show that they’re willing to receive the vaccine alongside their staff.” (Castellucci, 1/9)
And more questions surround who is actually getting the vaccine —
For People With Type 1 Diabetes, CDC Covid Guidelines Are Puzzling
Laura Woerner has diligently managed her type 1 diabetes since she was diagnosed at age 11. She’s remained vigilant about anything that might throw her blood sugar levels out of balance, and now, at 36, she has had two healthy pregnancies and avoided such severe complications of diabetes as limb neuropathy or eye disease. (Cooney, 1/11)
The New York Times:
At Elite Medical Centers, Even Workers Who Don’t Qualify Are Vaccinated
A 20-something who works on computers. A young researcher who studies cancer. Technicians in basic research labs. These are some of the thousands of people who have been immunized against the coronavirus at hospitals affiliated with Columbia University, New York University, Harvard and Vanderbilt, even as millions of frontline workers and older Americans are waiting their turns. (Mandavilli, 1/10)
Are You Old Enough To Get Vaccinated? In Tennessee, They’re Using The Honor System
As the states start to widen the eligibility for who can get a COVID-19 vaccine, health officials are often taking people’s word that they qualify, thereby prioritizing efficiency over strict adherence to their own distribution plans. “We are doing everything possible to vaccinate only those ‘in phase,’ but we won’t turn away someone who has scheduled their vaccine appointment and tells us that they are in phase if they do not have proof or ID,” says Bill Christian, spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Health. (Farmer, 1/9)
North Carolina Health News:
Vaccines Arrive At NC Prisons For Staff First
Vaccines will begin arriving in North Carolina’s state prisons this month. Some staff are already beginning to receive doses, while incarcerated people in the same age demographic wait. As the number of new novel coronavirus cases shattered records last week, topping over 10,000 new cases on each of several days, North Carolina is beginning to enter “Phase 1b” of its vaccination plan. (Critchfield, 1/11)
Is Your Covid Vaccine Venue Prepared To Handle Rare, Life-Threatening Reactions?
As the rollout of covid-19 vaccines picks up across the U.S., moving from hospital distribution to pharmacies, pop-up sites and drive-thru clinics, health experts say it’s vital that these expanded venues be prepared to handle rare but potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. “You want to be able to treat anaphylaxis,” said Dr. Mitchell Grayson, an allergist-immunologist with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “I hope they’re in a place where an ambulance can arrive within five to 10 minutes.” (Aleccia, 1/11)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.