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Cut production lines or reward company employees?



Dr. William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, said: “It seems that privileges and powers will give priority to access to the vaccine.”

Nancy Berger, a research scholar at the Hastings Center, a non-profit think tank, agrees. “This is a rather problematic example, [the vaccine] Will go to VIP first, not ranking and filing. You can imagine that people are paying close attention to this. “she says.

Vaccines against Covid-19 are largely regarded as a way to get rid of the pandemic. In past pandemics, the pandemic caused severe damage to the world last year, but they are currently in short supply. In the United States, two drugs-one developed by Moderna and the other developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in cooperation with BioNTech-received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in early December. Several vaccines are in production.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1

2 million doses of the two vaccines have been distributed to states so far, and nearly 2.6 million doses have actually been vaccinated, mainly for medical workers and long-term care residential facilities -Two groups in the first tier of vaccine priorities recommended by CDC.

In a statement issued by the company, Moderna explained that it is providing the lens to its workers in the United States through a voluntary and confidential program, “to provide additional COVID-19 protection” because Moderna workers are developing, producing and shipping vaccines.

As for the adult family members in the team, the reason is to “reduce the risk of absenteeism and destruction of adult family members due to COVID-19 infection.”

A Moderna spokesperson said in an email to CNN: “We have promised a certain amount to the US government, and we hope to fulfill these promises. Therefore, these promises are beyond these promises and sales.” About 1,200 employees.

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In contrast, Pfizer is a global giant with nearly 90,000 employees. According to a statement sent to CNN on Monday, “Pfizer plans to vaccinate its employees in accordance with CDC guidelines. The first batch of employees are expected to become important workers for the company, especially in the manufacturing industry, which is essential for vaccine work and continued delivery. All Pfizer medicines. We have no plan to prioritize our executives or board members to vaccinate over other high-risk groups.”

In an interview in mid-December, Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC that although he was very excited about his turn for the vaccine, he did not want to be regarded as a “secant”. “. However, he said that one of the circumstances that led him to get vaccinated early was that it helped increase public confidence in its safety.

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But this does not apply to other Pfizer employees. “We have decided that if we have to do this, we will not do this with senior management. Therefore, neither senior management nor board members will lay off staff. They will be based on age and occupation type.” Burla said.

Although CNN experts did not expect that the number of vaccines that may be given to Moderna employees would completely affect the supply of vaccines that can be used for general distribution, they said it was a matter of fairness and perception.

Bioethicist Arthur Caplan said: “Moderna tries to reward the board and the company for the vaccine development work. What I want to say is, based on gratitude.

However, Caplan, the chair of the Department of Medical Ethics at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and an analyst at CNN, still believes it has failed the olfactory test.

“In general, my view is that you try to align with high-risk people, agree on who they are, and let them do the job: nursing home staff, medical staff. I think this is the right way to be an example of a product So many politicians are being vaccinated, and I am not even satisfied.”

Caplan is a pro bono adviser to Moderna (and Janssen, the producer of another vaccine candidate), but did not advise Moderna on this issue.

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The company can argue that people engaged in vaccine production should be considered essential workers.

“I do worry about prioritizing board members [but] Not the employees who produce vaccines on the front line. ”

Moss said that board members often engage in jobs like this: “It’s easy to work remotely and protect yourself. In some other essential jobs, it’s impossible. [work remotely], Which includes front-line health care workers, but also bus drivers, teachers and people who work in grocery stores. ”

Berlinger said: “Vaccines, manufacturing is obviously an indispensable industry during the pandemic. Only through the development, manufacture, and sale of this vaccine can it end.”

“However, we are in a period of short supply, and we must prioritize in a very large country…. [It’s] It is important to remember that we should not confuse important industries with being in a high-risk environment. That is, not everyone involved in the production or distribution of vaccines is actually at a high risk of developing Covid or becoming severe Covid,” she said.

Berger Berliner is the lead author of the Hastings Center’s ethical framework for health care institutions in response to Covid-19. He said that Moderna’s situation poses an “ethical test” for people who have access and can queue up. “Should you take advantage of access? If you have the opportunity, should you skip the queue?”

She said: “If you can protect yourself, you should wait a while, because more and more people use their access rights to enter the head of the queue, which actually starts to slow down others.”

Caplan also fell while waiting for his turn.

“If I were them, I would say’No, thank you, I have to wait until my turn.’ This is an offer that does not have to be accepted.” Kaplan said. “If you are willing to accept this offer, you want to be prepared to stand in front of nursing home residents or high-risk health care workers and say:’This is why I said “yes”.”

Andrea Diaz, Shelby Lin Erdman and Amanda Sealy contributed to this story.


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