Dec 8, 2020 - Health

Hospitals prepare to vaccinate workers

Hospitals are figuring out which of their workers to vaccinate first, with the understanding that there likely won't be enough vaccines for everyone initially, the Wall Street Journal reports.

By the numbers: It's expected that there will be enough vaccines for 20 million people in December, per federal officials.

  • That's slightly less than what's needed to vaccinate all 24 million frontline medical workers and long-term care residents, which are the groups the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says should receive the shots first.

What they're doing: Some hospitals are considering a lottery system, for example, while others are trying to figure out which of their workers are most at-risk of exposure.

  • Essential workers don't just include clinical staff. Employees who clean rooms, deliver food and register patients are also being considered vaccine priorities.

Between the lines: Some hospitals are also accounting for some workers having side effects from the vaccine at a time when many are already short-staffed.

The bottom line: Health care workers' workload isn't going away any time soon, but in a few short weeks their risk of infection while on the job could significantly decrease.

  • Given the state of the pandemic, they can't be vaccinated soon enough.
Go deeper