Algorithm puts just seven residents on Stanford Medicine’s initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution list

An algorithm figuring out which Stanford Drugs staff would obtain its 5,000 preliminary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine included simply seven medical residents / fellows on the checklist, in response to a December seventeenth letter despatched from Stanford Drugs’s chief resident council. Stanford Drugs management has since apologized and promised to re-evaluate the plan.

“We take full accountability for the errors within the execution of our vaccine distribution plan,” a Stanford Drugs spokesperson stated in a press release to The Verge. “Our intent was to develop an moral and equitable course of for distribution of the vaccine. We apologize to our whole neighborhood, together with our residents, fellows, and different frontline care suppliers, who’ve carried out heroically throughout our pandemic response. We’re instantly revising our plan to raised sequence the distribution of the vaccine.”

The preliminary plan led to demonstrations from medical staff along with the letter despatched by the chief resident council.

“Stanford’s resolution to de-prioritize residents and fellows is defenseless on the premise of science, motive, ethics, and equality,” the letter stated. (ProPublica has hosted the full letter on DocumentCloud.) “Many people know senior school who’ve labored from dwelling for the reason that pandemic started in March 2020, with no in-person affected person duties, who have been chosen for vaccination. Within the meantime, we residents and fellows strap on N95 masks for the tenth month of this pandemic with out a clear and clear plan for our safety in place.”

The residents’ letter additionally alleges that the error within the algorithm was discovered on Tuesday however that management opted to not “revise the allocation scheme” forward of its December seventeenth launch.

Right here’s how the algorithm reportedly labored, according to NPR:

In line with an electronic mail despatched by a chief resident to different residents, Stanford’s leaders defined that an algorithm was used to assign its first allotment of the vaccine. The algorithm was stated to have prioritized these well being care employees at highest threat for COVID infections, together with elements like age and the situation or unit the place they work within the hospital. Residents apparently didn’t have an assigned location, and together with their sometimes younger age, they have been dropped low on the precedence checklist.

Stanford Drugs administration additionally despatched an electronic mail to employees on December 18th apologizing for the preliminary plan and promising adjustments. “We’re working rapidly to deal with the issues in our plan and develop a revised model,” the e-mail stated, which was obtained by ProPublica well being care reporter Caroline Chen. “We’re optimistic that a big cargo of vaccines will arrive subsequent week, which is able to permit us to vaccinate a considerable phase of our neighborhood.”

The Meals and Drug Administration has approved two COVID-19 vaccines to be used within the US. The vaccine developed by Pfizer / BioNTech was approved on December 11th, and the one developed by Moderna was approved on December 18th.

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